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One man’s quest to walk again

Published: May 4, 2008 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury:

wishtowalk-tease300wEditor’s note: Paralysis after a spinal cord injury brings wrenching decisions: Do you accept it as permanent and adapt, or do you refuse to resign yourself? John and Marci Pou took the latter course after his accident, embarking on an arduous quest for Rehabilitation, recounted in a three-part serial narrative. Part I tells how the couple chose to gamble on a different kind of therapy. First of three parts.

It was only a chair, but it had become his purgatory.

Each day that John Pou spent in the wheelchair, his spirit seemed to die a little more. It was a perpetual reminder of the calamity that had brought him and Marci, even the kids, to this place. Continue Reading »

Woodford swim star’s plans derailed

Published: November 3, 2007 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: ,


136-071007_swimVERSAILLES –For Dusty Hicks, senior year was going to be huge.

Other kids may get hyped about prom or graduation parties. In his final year of high school, Dusty was going to be all about the book.

By the time he was through, he was going to write his name in the front, the middle and the back of the Woodford County High swim team record book.

From the time he started swimming as a 3-year-old, when Dusty Hicks hit the water, good things — winning races; building a name — happened.

Until the day this past summer when Dusty hit the water and everything went stunningly wrong. Continue Reading »

Sharing a hard lesson

Published: June 10, 2007 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury:

20070611-2It was close to midnight on a hot June night in 1992 when Eric Wildt dived into a friend’s in-ground swimming pool.

His head hit the bottom, and he broke his neck.

That night was the last time Wildt walked; the last time he stood on his own; the last time he could clasp a friend’s hand. For a long time, he thought it would be the last time he smiled. Continue Reading »

Skelley has moved on from injury

Published: March 23, 2007 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: , ,

Allie Skelley never thought such a mundane task that most people take for granted would make him so happy. But he’s grateful for every day he rolls out of bed and his feet touch the floor without assistance.

That wasn’t a given four years ago when the Wolfeboro native suffered a serious neck injury that could have killed him or at the very least cost him the ability to walk.

A junior defenseman and captain for the St. Lawrence University hockey team, Skelley was checked from behind in a game against Lake Superior State in Canton, N.Y., and tumbled head-first into the boards. Continue Reading »

Unwavering Quadriplegic Becomes a Mom

Published: March 14, 2006 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury:

120305swspotlightAs with many women, Michelle Carston of Westfield always knew she wanted to be a mom. After a 1993 diving accident, when doctors told her that she would never walk again, she took solace in knowing the injury would not prevent her from fulfilling her maternal instincts.

On Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2005, at Florida Hospital, Michelle delivered a 5-pound, 13-ounce, healthy baby boy named Pierce.

“I couldn’t wait to become a new mom,” she said. “This is the first and the last, I believe.” Continue Reading »

Paralyzed football player making strides

Published: February 5, 2006 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury:

02-05-2006qb02a1Nat Little gently wraps his arms around Tamela Johnston and squeezes with all the strength he can muster.

“Good,” the personal trainer tells him. “It’s getting stronger.”

A simple hug is a big step for the former Carrollton R.L. Turner High School football player, who was paralyzed from the neck down in a spring football game 1 ½ years ago.

Thanks to the help of strangers, friends and family, Nat is on the road to recovery – one small step at a time. Continue Reading »


Published: September 29, 2005 | Category: Information | Spinal Cord Injury: , , , , , ,

We are a part of a global community in which the devastation of spinal cord injury (SCI) bows to no flag, and solutions will not be any country’s exclusive domain. Integrating the diverse pieces of the puzzle necessary to develop real-world solutions requires that we open-mindedly work in cooperation and not in competition. With such cooperation, restored function after SCI will be a coalescing reality and not just a never-ending, elusive pie-in-the-sky dream.

In this spirit of bridge-building, I recently traveled to Moscow, Russia where I became the first American scientist to check-out an innovative stem-cell program for SCI developed by the NeuroVita Clinic under the direction of Dr. Andrey Bryukhovetskiy. His work is especially important because few scientists have accumulated as much hands-on experience as he has in treating human SCI with stem cells, an approach many experts believe will play a key therapeutic role in the future. Continue Reading »