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o Overcoming Paralysis: A computerized implant helps move a paralyzed arm...
Spinal cord injuries are often caused by car accidents or bad falls. They can happen in a split second, yet the paralysis these injuries cause can last a lifetime. At least, that'sthe way it used to be.
Eating out is much more than a treat for 22-year-old Shawn Reed and his fiancée, Kim Faust. It's a triumph. Shawn says, "We get along good. I think we're gonna have a goodlife together."
Two years ago, Shawn was left paralyzed fromthe chest down
after a car accident. Most people thought he'd never use his hands again. They were wrong. He
can use his right hand today with the help of a computerized device inside his arm. It's called the
"NeuroControl Freehand System."
David Ruch, M.D., a hand surgeon at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in
Winston-Salem, N.C., says, "It takes someone who has no use in their upper extremities -- they
can't care for themselves, they can't comb their hair, they can't feed themselves -- and gives them
Surgeons at Wake Forest attached computer-controlled electrodes to eight of Shawn's arm muscles. The electrodes make the muscles contract so his hand can open and close. Shawn activates the electrodes by moving his left shoulder. Weekly visits to a hospital therapist help fine tune his movements.
"I'm just gonna see if I'm gonna let it beat me or I'm gonna beat it, and I feel like I'm beating it," says Shawn. Mastering the Freehand does take patience and determination. Shawn hasboth.
The Freehand is used by about 150 people worldwide. Right now, it's FDA-approved for paralyzed people who can still move their shoulders. Dr. Ruch predicts it willeventually be approved for use
in people who can only move their necks or mouths, like Christopher Reeve, and that one day it
will be used in the legs.
If you would like more information, please contact:
NeuroControl Corporation (888) 333-4918