Paralysis victim takes first steps to new life
Published 20/05/2011 | 05:00
A hit and run victim who was completely paralysed from the waist down has stood up on his own and taken faltering steps on a treadmill after pioneering treatment.
American Rob Summers (25) is the first patient to respond to the ground-breaking therapy, which involves many hours of training combined with electrical stimulus.
The treatment, which took 30 years to develop, by-passes the brain and "teaches" the spinal cord to control limbs and body functions independently.
As a result, Mr Summers, who is normally confined to a wheelchair, has been able to push himself up and stand for several minutes without assistance.
With help, he has also made repeated stepping motions on a treadmill and voluntarily moved his hips, knees, ankles and toes.