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.
Shonnie Moore of College Station, paralyzed in a July 2005 traffic accident, has had to learn how to eat, bathe and live all over again through Physical Therapy. “They call it [becoming a quadriplegic] a new birth,” she said.
Julie Cernel of St. Joseph Rehabilitation Center in Bryan, who served as Moore’s physical therapist for 13 months, has improved her Functional mobility and strength through exercises and aquatic therapy.
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.