Ali Stroker took the stage by storm at the 73rd annual Tony Awards not just once, but twice. First, she brought the house down as Ado Annie from the modern revival of Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma.” A short time later, she made history when she returned to the stage to collect her Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in Featured Role in a Musical. Stroker is the first Broadway performer who uses a wheelchair to earn a nomination and win a Tony.
Mary Beth Davis defies odds to graduate from Oklahoma State
Nearly a decade ago, Dr. Mary Beth Davis was told she would never walk again and that her dream of being a veterinarian was over.
Defying the odds and overcoming numerous challenges, Dr. Davis wheeled herself across the stage in Gallagher-Iba Arena on May 10 to receive her DVM degree from Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences.
The Herald speaks with Kiwis who have been on the edge of death, had their world tipped upside down, overcome their darkest moments and are now paying it forward.
Cycling to the base of Mt Everest, completing the New York Marathon and raising more than $10 million for Spinal Cord Injury research – all in a wheel chair – is only the start of Catriona Williams’ story.
The majority of people who suffer the partial or total loss of the hand’s motor skills report a drastic reduction in the quality of life due to the consequent inability to carry out many activities of daily life. Performing tasks often taken for granted, such as buttoning a shirt, using the phone, or grasping utensils for cooking or eating becomes frustrating or almost impossible due to reduced grip strength and poor motor control of the hand that afflicts these people.
A research team from Harvard University and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, coordinated by Prof. Conor Walsh and led by Dr. Leonardo Cappello, has recently developed a wearable robotic system with the purpose of helping these people.
Two research participants living with traumatic, motor complete spinal cord injury are able to walk over ground thanks to epidural stimulation paired with daily locomotor training. In addition, these and two other participants achieved independent standing and trunk stability when using the stimulation and maintaining their mental focus.
The research, conducted at the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center at the University of Louisville, was published online early and will appear in the Sept. 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
In UCLA study, magnetic stimulation of lower spine eliminates need for catheter for up to 4 weeks
More than 80 percent of the 250,000 Americans living with a spinal cord injury lose the ability to urinate voluntarily after their injury. According to a 2012 study, the desire to regain bladder control outranks even their wish to walk again.
In a study of five men whose injuries occurred five to 13 years ago, UCLA neuroscientists stimulated the lower spinal cord through the skin with a magnetic device placed at the lumbar spine.
After suffering a severe cervical spinal cord injury from a bad fall at work, Scott McConnell had little function remaining in his hands and arms.
“I never realized how majestic it would be. Scuba diving is magical.”
ST. LOUIS – For scuba divers like Jessi and Jamie Hatfield, taking the plunge beneath the waves is a gift.
“I never realized how majestic it would be. Scuba diving is magical,” said Jessi Hatfield, who convinced her husband to give diving a try.
The Hatfields, married five years, estimate they’ve dived in the ocean more than 40 times.
In 2010, one day before she was supposed to start cosmetology school, Steph Aiello was involved in a car crash that left her paralyzed from the waist down with limited ability to move her hands and one of her closest friends dead. She would spend the next several months in rehab, gaining sensation in half of her back, but battling major anxiety and depression. A few months later, she found herself in another accident when a drunk driver crashed into the car her family was in, just one block from the hospital. Aiello was also diagnosed with cancer shortly after. And yet, in the face of such adversity, Aiello’s courage and resilience not only helped her beat cancer and become stronger, it also motivated her to pursue her love of makeup.
This couple is in it for the long haul.
For Rob Summers, 31, and Julie Grauert, 34, the New York City Marathon was an opportunity to fund-raise for a cause near and dear to their hearts: Finding a cure for the six million Americans living with paralysis.
But as the first-time marathoners worked to get closer to a cure, they also got closer to each other.
Summers was a 20-year-old pitcher at Oregon State with dreams of playing in the Major Leagues when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver in July 2006.