32 years old
"Before coming here I didn’t have any trunk control…I’m able to do almost a sit up now, which I thought would be impossible before this."
When Isaac Darrell suffered a severe spinal cord injury, his situation looked fairly hopeless. However, with the help of exemplary treatment and constant hard work during his rehabilitation, Isaac has made great progress in his recovery.
Isaac's life drastically changed following a diving accident which left him with a spinal cord injury at the C7 level, resulting in him being paralysed from the waist down and being unable to use his legs.
Despite this severe injury, Isaac was not ready to give up. He wanted to continue his life as an active and athletic man, so he conducted research on how to best get back on his feet. During his research, he learned about a groundbreaking spinal cord injury treatment known as Epidural Stimulation.
Further research lead him to discovering what he deemed to be the best location for this type of treatment, and soon after, Isaac travelled to Bangkok to receive it. Upon arriving, he admitted to being impressed with how top-notch the facilities were, even compared to what he was used accustomed to experiencing in Canada. He spoke with the medical team in Bangkok about what the treatment would entail and was quickly ready to get started along his path to recovery. Knowing how tricky spinal cord injury rehabilitation could be, Isaac proceeded with cautious optimism about the results he would experience.
“I was kind of hesitant on how the surgery and implant were going to go… it felt like a gamble, you know, throwing the dice. Now that I’ve seen what, on the first day, being able to stand up with the stimulator on, I’m quite optimistic of how this procedure will work.”
How Epidural Stimulation Works
The Epidural Stimulation procedure involves the implantation of a small device in the spine. This device is designed to bridge the signals from the brain to the affected nerves in the spine. Using low-frequency currents delivered to specific nerve segments, it stimulates motor function.
Isaac found himself surprised at how non-invasive and simple the implantation process of the device was. When the device was turned on, Isaac began to move his legs for the first time in four long years since his accident.
Throughout his recovery, Isaac had a dedicated team of specialists ready to help him every step of the way. With this great level of care and a strong support system, Isaac’s health improved quickly, and his recovery was steady.
Localised pain, as well as his blood pressure, were regulated through acupuncture. At the same time, his trunk and core strength were slowly increased with the help of physiotherapy, conditioning, and exercise. Isaac’s success was so strong that, with each passing day, he increased the amount of time he was able to stand using parallel bars. His energy levels grew as did his range of motion. He was improving his autonomic dysreflexia, and his confidence was skyrocketing. The results were inspiring and encouraging not only for him, but for his team at the hospital as well.
“It’s changed my life for the better and I believe that it will change yours, because the results speak for themselves.”
Spinal Cord Injury Facts and Figures
In just a few short weeks, Isaac had made great strides thanks to Epidural Stimulation and his own dedication during each stage of his rehabilitation. This breakthrough spinal cord injury treatment was the saving grace Isaac had been looking for after so many years.
After four weeks, Isaac was able to take his first unassisted steps since the accident happened. He had made a profound transformation from when he first arrived at the facility in Bangkok. When he initially arrived, he had been deprived of his ability to use his legs for many years and was cautiously optimistic about treatment.
Even after the first day of turning on the implanted device, he felt that was all the improved function he would gain from treatment and that his recovery would plateau. However, he was wrong and he continued to improve day by day throughout the duration of his stay.
After this realisation, not only had his mood had improved, but he was optimistic, confident, and ready to see how far his treatment would take him.