Tag: Rob Summers
Electrical stimulation has promised huge gains for people with paralysis. Now comes the hard part — getting beyond those first steps.
Rob Summers was flat on his back at a rehabilitation institute in Kentucky when he realized he could wiggle his big toe. Up, down, up, down. This was new — something he hadn’t been able to do since a hit-and-run driver left him paralysed from the chest down. When that happened four years earlier, doctors had told him that he would never move his lower body again. Now he was part of a pioneering experiment to test the power of electrical stimulation in people with spinal-cord injuries.
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.
Four scientists—and their star patient—received a 2011 PM Breakthrough Award for a new procedure that uses direct electrical stimulation to give spinal injury patients back some voluntary movement.
A hit-and-run accident in 2006 left Rob Summers paralyzed from the chest down, shattering the college baseball player’s Major League prospects. But his injury—and his athlete’s dedication—made him the ideal candidate for a one-of-a-kind experiment led by a scientific dream team.