When a paralyzed patient walks again, anyone would be shocked and scream aloud, never mind Bailey Murrill’s favorite nurse. But will this type of “miracle” soon become commonplace with the recent advent of “Cyborg” spinal implants?
In a related report by the Inquisitr, a husband in a coma awoke from a vegetative state even after doctors recommended that his wife let him die, and now the married couple is seeking help via a fundraiser since their health insurance will not pay for expensive long term rehab that will help him recover from his traumatic brain injury.
Bailey’s mother, Becky, posted the above video of her “paralyzed” daughter walking again, and it quickly went viral not because of the “miracle,” but because of the reaction by the nurse.
“Our daughter, Bailey, had complete paralysis from the waist down for 11 days with no explanation as to why. This video is one of her favorite nurses coming onto her shift and not knowing that Bailey had started walking this day,” Becky captioned the post.
According to the Texas teen, she hurt herself while rough-housing with her father, but doctors at the Zale Lipshy University Hospital in Dallas tried in vain to help their paralyzed patient walk again. For 11 days she was paralyzed completely below the waist, but it was her faith in God that kept her going until suddenly one day she began to move again while working with a physical therapist.
“The whole time I had this attitude I would leave it in [God’s] hands and be prepared for what He decided,” she said. “We waited it out and the same way the feeling left my legs it returned…. [My nurse] had brought me so much joy at a time I needed it that I decided to bring her some.”
As might be expect, when the apparently paralyzed patient walked right out of her wheelchair, the nurse was overjoyed.
“I’m so happy for you. I’m so happy for you,” the nurse told her patient. “See there, I told you. Just keep the faith.”
To this day, Bailey Murrill still cannot explain her physical condition, and doctors do not know what caused her to become paralyzed in the first place. Unfortunately, there are many other paralyzed patients who never walk again due to the severity of their spinal injuries, but newly developed medical technology might hold out some hope.
French scientists have created a new Cyborg-style spinal implant that almost comes straight out of a science fiction movie. The thin prosthetic ribbon is thin enough to lie along the spinal cord without creating discomfort, and it is capable of transmitting electrical nerve impulses where there has been a break in the nervous system. In addition, the implant called the e-Dura mimics the soft issue around the spine so there are not any issues with the body rejecting the foreign matter.
“Our e-Dura implant can remain for a long period of time on the spinal cord or cortex,” said Professor Stéphanie Lacour of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. “This opens up new therapeutic possibilities for patients suffering from neurological trauma or disorders, particularly individuals who have become paralyzed following spinal cord injury.”
While so far researchers have only succeeded with rats, if a human paralyzed patient walks again they hope to be able to credit their device. The e-Dura is the first success story where paralyzed rats were made to walk again without causing further medical issues caused by an implant creating inflammation and scar tissue.
“The work described here is a groundbreaking achievement of technology, which could open a door to a new era in treatment of neuronal damage,” said Dr Dusko Ilic of King’s College London. “Until now, the most advanced prostheses in intimate contact with the spinal cord caused quite substantial damage to tissue in just one week due to their stiffness. There is still a long way to go before we may see any practical use of such neuroprostheses in humans. But it may be that it is something that could potentially be developed for use in humans in the foreseeable future.”
The scientists are hoping to move ahead with human clinical trials in the next several years, and they before long that it will become almost “normal” to see videos of a paralyzed patient walking again.
[Image via The Telegraph]