Jenni Taylor, 24, of Minnetonka, is the reigning Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota. A quadriplegic after a car accident, she speaks to kids with a message of not being afraid of people in wheelchairs.
Jenni Taylor isn’t supposed to be able to sit up without support, but there she is, exquisitely balanced on the edge of her bed.
She isn’t supposed to be able to breathe without her ventilator either, but a slip of her breathing tube once forced her to try contracting her throat muscles just enough to bring in some air until someone heard the alarm.
She isn’t supposed to be a quadriplegic, either. Who is? But accidents happen. Continue Reading »
Until the last few decades, it was generally thought that damage to the spinal cord was permanent, as the nerves within our vertebrae stubbornly resist regrowing severed connections after injuries. But a number of studies have helped us understand why exactly it is that the nerves refuse to grow, raising the prospect that we could use this knowledge to intervene and help repair damage to the spine. In the latest indication that progress is being made in these efforts, researchers have used a combination of enzyme treatments and grafts to restore breathing activity in rats that had had their spinal connections completely severed. Continue Reading »
A new approach to nerve repair has restored breathing to rats with spinal cord injury.
Scientists believe the same technique could help human patients who have to rely on ventilators, leaving them vulnerable to dangerous infections.
“We’ve shown for the very first time that robust, long distance regeneration can restore function of the respiratory system fully,” said lead researcher Professor Jerry Silver, from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, US.
The researchers used a section of peripheral nerve to “bridge” a break in the spinal cord which had paralysed half the diaphragm, the sheet-like muscle that enables breathing. Continue Reading »
“Life is not measured by the number breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” This quote has two meanings for me. The first meaning is exactly how it’s stated. The second is a literal and personal meaning. Life is not measured by the number breaths I take, which happens to be 18 breaths a minute, but by the moment that took my breath away. On November 1, 2002 I was in a car accident. I broke my neck at C1 C2 and injured my spinal cord. Continue Reading »
clinical trial in Atlanta, Georgia, is proof that informed public debate is the key to medical advance
IF I’m honest, my first reaction to recent reports that the first human embryonic stem cell trial had begun on spinal patients in Atlanta was one of nonchalance.
Not because of its potential significance to those of us with spinal injuries — desperate for any news of progress — but because of the stop-start nature of the trial, plagued as it has been by legislative and regulatory restraints. Continue Reading »
The first breathing pacemaker of its kind that regulates the pace of respiration in victims of spinal cord damage has been implanted in Israel.
Yedidya Knopf, a 22-year-old resident of Jerusalem’s Alyn Rehabilitation Hospital who was seriously injured in a road accident nine years ago, was operated on a month ago at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem. Continue Reading »
LINCOLN — Larry Schroetlin rarely came across problems he couldn’t solve.
He was an auto mechanic and loved to fix things. Townspeople depended on him and he always delivered, every time, even if it meant skipping lunch or Christmas dinner to change a friend’s tire.
He married his high school sweetheart, raised three sons and owned the only repair shop in Butte, Neb. He was an active man, piloting single-engine aircraft through the 1980s until it got too expensive. Continue Reading »
The Eric Westacott Foundation has raised over $30,000 for physical therapy for 11-year old Alex Malarkey. The funds will allow young Alex to participate in two separate two-week programs at Kennedy Krieger Institute’s International Center for Spinal Cord Injury in Baltimore, Maryland, and to receive a Functional Electrical Stimulus (FES) bike and tilt-table donated by Lorraine Valentini and Chris Reyling.
The Eric Westacott Foundation (EWF), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the study and cure of spinal cord injuries (SCI), announced today that it has raised over $30,000 to provide physical therapy for 11-year old Alex Malarkey. Continue Reading »
As a bright, young cheerleader trying out for the high school varsity squad, 14-year-old Laura Jackson had everything going for her.
But when a back flip went wrong during a try-out without a trained spotter on hand, Laura landed on her head fracturing her neck and damaging her spinal cord. Laura is now paralyzed and breathes with the help of a ventilator.
Cheerleading has become the leading cause of catastrophic injury in young female athletes, says Amy Miller Bohn, a physician at the UMHS department of family medicine. Data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that rates of injuries from cheerleading accidents have gone from nearly 5,000 in 1980 to close to 26,000 to 28,000 in the past few years, Miller Bohn says. Continue Reading »