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Paralyzed Man “Walks” After New Spinal Cord Treatment
For the first time in three years, 26-year-old Jered Chinnock intentionally wiggled his toes and moved his legs in step-like motions, with the help of a new spinal cord treatment at the Mayo Clinic. Researchers used a combination of intense physical therapy and electrical stimulation to produce the result, according to an April 4,2017 article in Futurism.
Paralyzed by a severe injury from a snowmobile accident three years ago, Jered could not feel or move any part of his body below the middle of his back. He underwent 22 weeks of intense physical therapy to prepare his muscles for movement. An electrode was then implanted close to his spinal cord and a computer device was placed just under his abdominal skin. When the electronic signal was sent, he found he could move right away. He even was able to stand independently, supported by bars.
“As amazing as the experiment is, it’s still early work,” noted the article. More research needs to be done before scientists are able to offer this as a viable option, and it may not work for every kind of spinal injury.
Approximately 17,000 spinal cord injuries occur each year in the U.S., according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center. It can happen as a result of a motor vehicle crash, a sports injury, a work incident, even an assault. Technological advances in safety don’t always protect us, other people don’t always exercise due caution and, unfortunately, accidents happen. Damage to any part of the spinal cord can cause permanent changes in strength, sensation or other body functions. One minute, you are active and capable of enjoying life to the fullest. The next minute, you need help just getting through the basics - putting on clothes or brushing your teeth - for the rest of your life.
Beyond the physical tragedy of such an accident, it’s an immense and demoralizing financial burden: this injury can force a future of needing round-the-clock medical care on someone who at the same time has lost the ability to work and earn a living towards that future. Compensation may be the very thing that makes the difference between a life of hardship and one of physical and emotional support.
If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury in Philadelphia, especially one due to negligence, it’s important to take action. Consult an attorney with experience in recovering multimillion dollar verdicts and settlements.