Daily Archives: February 7, 2006
DALLAS — It takes a body harness, a sophisticated exoskeleton and a quarter-million-dollar treadmill, but Albert Pruitt walks.
Pruitt, who has been partially paralyzed since 1976, is taking small steps, literally and figuratively, at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center’s Spinal Cord Injury Lab.
“It’s almost like having a sense of freedom,” says Pruitt, 44, who works for a software design company in Dallas. “It makes me feel better all around. Just feeling the sensation of walking is such a confidence-builder.”
Virginia R. Corrigan knows how devastating brain and spinal cord injuries can be.
While working in the trauma unit at Christiana Hospital in 1993, the critical care nurse found herself caring for a 19-year-old dying of massive head injuries he’d received in a serious car accident. She recalls how his parents brought pictures of him to the hospital and how they grieved for their son.
That tragedy marked a turning point in Corrigan’s life and career. She remembers thinking, “Why are we doing this?
WILLIAMSPORT — Robin Larson had just turned 20 when he and his buddies decided to play water tag in a pond. He dived in, hit the bottom, broke a vertebra and injured his spinal cord.
For 23 years, Larson has been paralyzed from the chest down. He can move his arms and one index finger, but not his legs. He must use an electric wheelchair now, because years of using a manual model ruined his shoulder joints.
In early April, Larson plans to undergo experimental surgery at the Xishan Hospital’s Neurological Disorders and Research Center in Beijing, China. Nasal cells will be taken from his olfactory nerve and put in a culture to multiply. Then they will be transplanted above and below the injury, in hopes that new nerve connections will develop.
We’re here to help people who are quadriplegic due to spinal cord injury as well as those affected by diseases such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida and more reach for sports’ highest honors and be recognized like any other athlete who raises the bar. And just how many are out there? Millions worldwide. We aim to be behind each one with every turn of the wheel. Keeping People In The Game Of Life.