As 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.”
Nat 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.
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.