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‘Extreme Makeover: Home’ still changing York County quadriplegic man’s life 6 years later

Published: November 3, 2017 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: , ,

Every morning, Brian Keefer looks up at the framed words of encouragement covering his bedroom wall, and he smiles.

“Brian, you keep smiling because that’s what makes you so special! … Keep believing that you can fly!” one says.

“You’re my hero and inspiration,” reads another.

Those notes, written by friends and family, are Keefer’s favorite part of the room “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” built for him in 2011. Continue Reading »

‘The Quadfather’ has a message for techies — accessibility ‘should not be an add-on’

Published: November 1, 2017 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: , ,

Todd Stabelfeldt is a pretty chill dude. He lives 90 minutes from Seattle by ferry, in a home with his wife and occasionally two stepkids. He runs a consultancy for healthcare databases, but once considered becoming a comedian. He’s a dog person.

Stabelfeldt also happens to be quadriplegic. He’s been paralyzed from the neck down for more than 30 years.

And because of that, Stabelfeldt has a unique relationship with technology — not unique for him and his crew, which goes by “The Quad Squad,” but unique for many people who are able-bodied. Continue Reading »

Bionic bodies: From typing with a glance to restoring paralyzed limbs, new technology aids the ailing

Published: October 13, 2017 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: , ,

If eye-gaze technology, motion sensor tracking and functional electrical stimulation sound like secret weapons of the CIA, you’d be half right. Much of the newfangled equipment in use for those with medical disabilities came out of technology originally designed for the government. Now, it’s helping injured and ill people with life’s basic needs.

Former Saints player Steve Gleason, diagnosed with ALS in 2011, propels his custom wheelchair with only a glance.

“I have an infrared eye tracker that is connected to my laptop and serves as my control center,” said Gleason. Continue Reading »

Surfer finds freedom in California

Published: August 25, 2017 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: ,

Jay Liesener, Team Surfgimp conquer more than just West Coast waves

With sunburnt cheeks and scabbed-over nose, Jay Liesener’s face tells it all. His recent trip to surf California’s southern coast was a success.

That’s a good sunburn, said Liesener with his head-wide smile as his wife, Melanie, helped him get out of their van.

Liesener is a quadriplegic and adaptive surfer who lives in Milton. When Gazette readers last saw him, it was days after a crowd-funding effort had raised more than $15,000 to send him and his team, Team Surfgimp, on a bucket-list-checking surfing trip to southern California. Continue Reading »

Quadriplegic author: ‘I will be out of this chair one day’

Published: August 3, 2017 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: ,

The story he wanted to tell was several decades in the making, so it’s easy to see why David Rippy took two-and-a-half years to compose his memoir.

That it centered on the impact that a one-car crash which left him paralyzed from the shoulders down had on his life – both for good and for bad – makes that accomplishment amazing, though.

“I took two summers off to write. It’s hard to stay indoors and work when it’s nice out,” said Rippy of the process that brought about “Captain of My Soul: Mastering a Destiny Altered.” Continue Reading »

The house that love built: Kurt Drysdale Comes Home

Published: August 1, 2017 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: , , ,

A young man rendered a quadriplegic by a freak footy accident now has a house designed to meet his every need thanks to the generosity of friends, the community, and the audience of A Current Affair.

Kurt Drysdale was just 20 when he injured his spine in a wayward tackle during a weekend rugby league match.

He was left unable to breathe on his own and without most of his movement, and faced spending the rest of his life in hospital or care.

However, his family was determined to bring him home. Continue Reading »

New wheelchair provides opportunities for quadriplegic hunter

Published: July 18, 2017 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: ,

The nonprofit Independence Fund gave Nels Hadden an all-terrain wheelchair Tuesday.

Nels Hadden may not be able to move his arms or legs, but he can still take down a deer with a crossbow.

There’s no magic spell or use of the Force, just the power of technology that lets quadriplegic men and women do things that would have been impossible years ago. Continue Reading »

Asterias Biotherapeutics Receives FDA Clearance to Enroll C-4 Patients in SCiStar Study

Published: July 10, 2017 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury:

Ability to enroll patients with second most common cervical spinal cord injury broadens eligible population for SCiStar study and future trials

FREMONT, Calif., July 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: AST), a biotechnology company pioneering the field of regenerative medicine, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted the company’s amendment to the clinical research protocol for its ongoing AST-OPC1 SCiStar Phase 1/2a clinical trial in motor complete cervical spinal cord injury (SCI). The amendment expands the eligibility criteria to include patients with a C-4 spinal cord injury and extends the dosing window from 14 to 30 days to 21 to 42 days post-injury. Continue Reading »

Injured Olympian defies doctors to walk for his wedding

Published: July 9, 2017 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: ,

On good days, American high jumper Jamie Nieto can shuffle 130 steps without a cane or walker.

It’s an important distance — about the length from the altar to the church door. His vow: Make it all the way, under his own power, when he’s married on July 22.

The two-time Olympian is recovering from a spinal cord injury he suffered on a misjudged backflip in April 2016. The accident initially left him with no feeling in his hands and feet. Walking? Doctors couldn’t predict if he would take more than a few steps — or any at all. Continue Reading »

Quadriplegic Drives 2016 Corvette Z06 — Jay Leno’s Garage

Published: July 8, 2017 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: ,

Driving with a disability can be a huge accomplishment, whether it is an amputation or something more severe. In Sam Schmidt’s case, it couldn’t get more severe. In 2001 Sam was paralyzed when his race car went backwards into the wall at 210 mph. Sam’s doctors were thinking he may not live the year but Sam defied the odds and currently lives life as a quadriplegic. Continue Reading »