When medical student Dinesh Palipana suffered a severe spinal injury in a car crash, he was told his dream of becoming a doctor was over. Now he’s Queensland’s first quadriplegic doctor, working at one of the state’s busiest hospitals. Dr Palipana tells his story in his own words.
I didn’t grow up wanting to be a doctor. And I certainly never imagined practising medicine with quadriplegia.
I was exactly halfway through medical school when my car aquaplaned on Brisbane’s Gateway Motorway.
MOST doctors study for years so they can help others but for Southport’s Dinesh Palipana, it is much more personal.
A month out from his graduation ceremony at Griffith University, the 32-year-old doesn’t just want to help others, he also wants to help himself.
“I’ve had a vested interest and a passion to cure spinal cord injury and cure myself in the process,” he said.
Part-way through his medical degree in 2010, Mr Palipana was driving home to the Gold Coast from visiting his parents in Brisbane when his car aquaplaned on a wet road and overturned near the Gateway Bridge.
QUEENSLAND researchers are a step closer to human trials of a potential treatment for spinal cord injuries involving transplants of nasal cells combined with physiotherapy.
Griffith University neuroscientist James St John said he hoped to start a trial within three years on the research after receiving more than $250,000 in funding from the Perry Cross Spinal Research Foundation.
Dr St John said he had been in preliminary discussions with neurosurgeons and physiotherapists at Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital but he needed $700,000 a year over three years before the trial could begin.