Ducharme regains some mobility

Published: April 8, 2007  |  Source: news14charlotte.com
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01_03-ducharmeCHARLOTTE — A Charlotte man who suffered a severe spinal injury during last year’s running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, can now walk, jog and play golf — all to the surprise of doctors who said he would never regain mobility below his waist.

Ray Ducharme, who was injured in a mock bullfight, has slowly recovered after months of Rehabilitation. The 31-year-old banker is not quite as agile as he once was, but he plans to return to his job at Bank of America in the near future.

“Every doctor told me there was no chance I would walk again. I guess I didn’t listen to them,” he said.

Ducharme was vacationing when he participated in a July 7 mock bullfight in which hundreds of people pulled the tails and ears of five cows that were chased into a bull ring.

Ducharme was blind-sided by one of the animals and tossed into the air. He fell on his neck and heard a snap.

Ray Ducharme, who was injured in a mock bullfight, has slowly recovered after months of rehabilitation.
Doctors operated and reattached two Vertebrae, but they said Ducharme would likely remain paralyzed from the waist down. Since his spinal cord wasn’t entirely severed, doctors left open a slim possibility Ducharme would walk again.

After several surgeries, he moved to Atlanta for rehabilitation at the Shepherd Center, which is supported by the Christopher Reeve NeuroRecovery Network and specializes in treating people with spinal cord and brain injuries.

Ducharme slowly regained the strength to talk. Now, he is walking, jogging, golfing and even hitting baseballs at the batting range.

The accident “definitely makes me appreciate things a lot more — being able to go out and have a beer and dinner with friends. Things I never thought I’d be able to do again,” Ducharme said. “It really makes me appreciate the simple things in life.”

By: Associated Press
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