Thursday, August 13, 2020

Monthly Archives: April 2009

A Father’s Quest to Cure His Daughter

Published: April 14, 2009

terra-incognitaStem cell research has been getting a lot of attention lately. Last month, President Obama lifted the Bush administration’s strict limits on human embryonic stem cell research. The actor Michael J. Fox recently appeared on “The Daily Show” promoting his new book and the need for stem cell studies.

And recently the prestigious Peabody awards, issued for excellence in electronic media, recognized a moving independent film, “Mapping Stem Cell Research: Terra Incognita.” The documentary explores the science, emotions and ethical complications of stem cell research through the story of a scientist who focused his research efforts on spinal cord injury after his daughter became paralyzed in a skiing accident.

Inspiring Hope for Those with Spinal Cord Injuries

Published: April 14, 2009

A background on Michael-Ryan’s story, the work of his Foundation, and the mission: to build a level of awareness of and philanthropic support for those with spinal cord injuries,

Spinal patient spins a comeback

Published: April 13, 2009

20090411-1Therapy “a 24/7 job”: Ten years after a skiing accident, Leah Potts stays driven.

Ten years ago, Leah Potts was a patient at Craig Hospital, after a skiing accident that broke her neck and damaged her spinal cord. The first doctors she saw warned her she might never walk again.

Today, Potts teaches Spinning, the popular and intense indoor group bicycling class. The Aspen resident can walk (with a cane). She skis again (with outriggers). And she blogs about her progress at

“I remember lying there in bed at the beginning,” she said. “I remember lying there thinking, ‘OK, this doesn’t sound too good. I have two choices: Lie here and cry about it, or get up and do something about it.’ I was 23 years old. I’d just graduated from college. I felt like my life was just beginning.”

PossAbilities participating in the Run Through Redlands

Published: April 13, 2009

For the second straight year, the Run Through Redlands is teaming up with PossAbilities to welcome wheelchair athletes to the events.

A community outreach program developed by the Loma Linda University East Campus, PossAbilities aims to offer disabled individuals who were born with, or have suffered, a permanent physical injury a sense of community and provide activities and practical help to integrate them back into life.

Magnesium Improves Function After Spinal Cord Injury

Published: April 13, 2009

rat_18109Improves motor function and spares white matter

MONDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) — Magnesium treatment shortly after spinal cord injury in rats improves motor function and spares white matter, according to study findings published in the April issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine.

Diana Barrett Wiseman, M.D., from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues generated a moderate-to-severe spinal cord injury in rats, then treated them with saline, magnesium, methylprednisolone, or magnesium plus methylprednisolone within 10 minutes of injury.

Quadriplegic lawyer from Thunder Bay, Ont., reaches North Pole

Published: April 13, 2009

A lawyer from the northern Ontario city of Thunder Bay has become the first known quadriplegic to reach the North Pole.

David Shannon, 46, who was paralyzed after a spinal-cord injury, reached the frosty destination on Saturday with his expedition partner Christopher Watkins, 40, who is also from Thunder Bay.

Wearable robotic suit could help disabled to walk

Published: April 13, 2009

Cyborg-type exoskeleton for use after strokes, spinal cord injuries

robosuitA Japanese company has created a robotic exoskeleton that is designed to help make disabled people mobile again, enabling them to stand up, walk and even climb stairs.

Cyberdyne Inc. has built what it calls Robot Suit HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limb) — cyborg-type robotic suit. The exoskeleton, which is worn much like the suit in the movie Iron Man, is built to be used in medical rehabilitation or to help people who have suffered a stroke or spinal cord injury, for example, become mobile again. It also could be used for people doing physically demanding work in factories or at disaster sites, according to the company.

Learning to live a new kind of life

Published: April 9, 2009

49dd1cf211050-99-1Gothenburg teen with spinal cord injury learns about change

She’s paralyzed from her belly button to her toes but Aubrey Freeze was more than ready to return home.

After spending more than three months in hospitals, the Gothenburg High School senior was released from Craig Hospital in Denver, CO, on April 1.

“I’m doing good now that I’m home,” she said.

Injured hockey player, Derek Zike, recovering well

Published: April 9, 2009

derek-zikeAnn Arbor — Derek Zike and his family do not shy from stating the truth.

Derek’s life will never be “normal” again.

But normal is a subjective term.

Derek, 17, is working out his version, trying to create a world as close to the one he knew before the evening of Jan. 16, when he suffered a spinal cord injury and was paralyzed while playing in a hockey tournament at the Ice Cube in Ann Arbor.

Bad to the bone

Published: April 9, 2009

au09_trampolineAfter trampoline flip nearly paralyzes Oswego teen, he and surgeon warn to think first before jumping into play

Kameron Botka of Oswego says he has a “history of doing stupid stuff,” but after several broken bones during his childhood and a trampoline accident requiring spinal surgery last fall, the junior at Oswego High School insists he’s more safety-minded now.

The surgeon who performed the five-hour operation that spared Kameron from life with limited mobility says it’s common for young people to be unaware of injuries that can impact the rest of their lives.