Spinal cord injuries always have an air of finality about them. Once a spinal injury occurs, repairing the damage to the bundle of nerves that make up the spinal cord has been seen as impossible. The spinal cord, which carries the instructions and information to and from the brain, when damaged often leaves one unable to move muscles below the point of damage.
The spinal cord can be damaged in many ways, from medical malpractice committed during other types of surgery to injuries suffered in car accidents, diving and many other work and recreational activities. While many go on to live productive lives with those injuries, there is great expense involved and other intangible costs.
A recent news report of a “breakthrough” that appears to have restored the ability to walk of one man with a spinal cord injury has been much heralded. The doctors used regenerative cells from his nasal cavity and transplanted them into his spinal cord.
While walking may seem like the ultimate goal for one with paralysis, a woman in the article notes among the paralyzed, the fact that he had regained some sensation with his bladder and bowels was much more important.
In addition to inability to walk, most of those paralyzed lose control of their bladder, bowels and sexual function. These abilities, with most people take for granted, have a profound affect on those who suffer paralysis from a spinal cord injury, and if you have ever wondered why legal settlements involving those types of injuries often involve millions of dollars, consider this:
How much would you pay to not have to spend every day without the inability to control your bodily functions?
Independent.co.uk, “Spinal cord injuries and the reality of medical ‘breakthroughs’,” Charlie Cooper, October 22, 2014