Thursday, August 13, 2020

Yearly Archives: 2006

Life is good after brush with death

Published: December 23, 2006

ba_oakslay_wounded72With the wounded toll topping homicides, some survivors are gaining insight that makes them whole in a new way

Cheating death can make you see life a whole new way.

That’s what happened to Ronnie “Henneessy” Jackson. In 2003, gunmen using AK-47 and Mac-90 automatic rifles fired 50 rounds into his parked van in East Oakland. He was struck 11 times, briefly flatlined in surgery, then endured 10 operations and spent nearly three years paralyzed from the neck down.

A gift of independence

Published: December 23, 2006

hs1548185_1Ron Stewart asked a bunch of his friends to kick in $1,000 each to help buy a specially equipped car for Sean Corner, the 21-year-old rugby player paralyzed in a game in September.

Only one man said no. Instead, he gave Stewart $2,000.

And so it went.

In a few days, Stewart had $24,000 –enough to buy a tricked-out 2004 Chrysler Pacifica fitted with hand controls.

Risk vs. hope: Heading overseas for stem cells

Published: December 22, 2006

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – David Aldrich, 49, was paralyzed in a boating accident more than four years ago, and had made his wishes known. If he were hospitalized again and in a near-death situation, he did not want to be resuscitated.

He thought there was no hope he would walk again.

But with his family’s prodding and financial backing, the former licensed boat captain from Florida traveled to China, where doctors are treating people with spinal cord injuries and other conditions with stem cells obtained from umbilical cord blood. Out-of-pocket costs are high – $20,000 to $25,000 on average.

A ‘Miracle’ In Tennessee

Published: December 21, 2006

viewmediaA ‘Miracle’ In Tennessee: Charlene Caswell Transforms Herself From Quadriplegic to Hiker, With Help from The Hartford

Walking away from a seemingly permanent Disability requires tenacity, excellent care and a talented, committed insurance team

HARTFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Charlene Caswell’s life changed abruptly on a snowy day last February after the truck in which she was riding flipped over, fracturing her Cervical spine and injuring her spinal cord.

Despite his terrible injury, he still rides the wave of life

Published: December 20, 2006

20061220_143103_2_story Among the many stories of human courage and achievement, Jesse Billauer’s might be one of the most inspirational.

Born in California in 1979, Billauer became a star athlete at an early age. He excelled in baseball, soccer and floor hockey; that is, until he discovered surfing. He became so passionate about it that by the time he was 11, he was already surfing competitively. By the mid-90’s, Surfer magazine had named him “One of the Top 100 up-and-coming surfers of the world”.

Virtual-reality systems help with disability rehabilitation

Published: December 18, 2006

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — On most days, a tumor on Zvulun Muola’s spinal cord keeps him confined to a wheelchair, but today he is standing on a small, wooden dinghy gliding downstream, navigating between the islands of a tropical paradise.

Muola, whose legs are partially paralyzed, is among a handful of disabled patients in Israel using the Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment. The virtual-reality system puts patients at the helm of a life-size video game, forces them to use atrophied muscles and teaches the basic skills necessary to recover from severe injuries and disorders.

Surgery seen to aid bladder control

Published: December 18, 2006

WASHINGTON – Needing a wheelchair isn’t always the biggest complaint of people left paralyzed by spinal cord injury — it’s also the loss of bladder control. On Monday, Michigan doctors began a unique experiment to see if rerouting patients’ nerves just might fix that problem.

It’s a delicate operation: Surgeons cut open a spot on the spine and sew two normally unrelated nerves together — one from the bladder to one from the thigh — with a single hair-thin stitch. It will take months for this new nerve bridge to heal, an anxious waiting period for the first volunteers.

Storing stem cells at AIIMS

Published: December 17, 2006

NEW DELHI: All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) now has another first to its name — it has set up the country’s first cord blood bank in the government sector.

Umbilical cord blood from the five to eight deliveries that happen daily in the institute is being collected, provided parents are willing, and stored at ultra-low temperature for use in treating patients of cancer and other debilitating diseases. As of now, this is only for “in-house” patients, but AIIMS has ambitious plans for setting up a national cord blood bank.

Love Survives

Published: December 16, 2006

28385_1 Rick and Angel Young were married at Royal Victoria Hospital.

With a pen held in his teeth, Rick Young carefully marked an X on his marriage certificate.

It was a struggle.

He had to try twice.

But it was important.

As a quadriplegic, there are many things Rick cannot do on his own – breathe, eat, move – but professing his love for his childhood sweetheart was one thing he had to do.

And so, on Nov. 4, among family, friends, a respiratory therapist, a doctor, several CCU nurses and hospital staff, Angel Robinson, 25, and Rick Young, 26, exchanged their wedding vows in the Garden Patio of Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie.

New Drug Giving Hope to Spinal Cord Patients

Published: December 16, 2006

A new medication being tested at Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson University Hospital gives hope to patients with severe spinal cord injuries.

The drug Cethrin has been in safety trials, says Jefferson neurosurgeon James Harrop. Cethrin is a protein applied to a sheath covering the spinal cord. From there, it interrupts a peculiar reaction that follows a spinal injury, programmed cell death in which neurons give up the ghost. It also aids surviving nerve cells in reconnecting.