Dr. Donald Leslie, who is the medical director at the Shepard Center in Atlanta, is using embryonic stem cell therapy to help treat his patient who suffers from a spinal cord injury. He hopes that through this experimental research that the cure for paralysis can be found.
His first test case is TJ Atchinson. At 21 years old, he is the first human to undergo the experimental treatment. He was home from the University of Alabama with he lost control of his car and sustained a spinal cord injury that caused paralysis from the waist down. The doctor's told him that he would never walk again.
The treatment uses stem cells which are considered the building blocks of life. They have been used in laboratory's to repair the spinal cords of small animals and those animals successfully walked again. The procedure for Atchinson required the doctor's to open his wound and use a remote guided needle to inject the spinal cord with 2 million cells that the doctor's hope will transform into new nerve cells, attach to muscles, and then restart Atchinson's central nervous system. Atchinson's role in the trial is just to prove that the procedure is safe, however he believes that it is already working.
According to Atchinson, he is now able to feel hair being pulled on his legs, and is also able to feel the pressure of a heavy item placed on his lap. These small things are bringing hope and cautious optimism from his doctors. Dr. Leslie said it is very hard to measure sensation but if Atchinson says he can feel something that he was previously unable to feel, then that must be good news.
The doctors will continue to measure Atchinson's strength and test his nerves and muscles. Atchinson will return to school in the fall, but he is still optimistic that his injury is slowly but surely healing.
If you are in need of a Myrtle Beach SC spinal cord injury attorney, Conway lawyer Dirk Derrick at the The Derrick Law Firm has been handling spinal cord injury cases in Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, and Conway SC for over 23 years. Please call 843-248-7486 today.