22 years old
"Just in a short time I’ve been here, I’ve done things that I thought I couldn’t do."
Payton Smith was a typical 22-year-old American man before a spinal injury left him paralysed. Though his doctors thought there was no hope, Epidural Stimulation Surgery drastically improved his condition.
All spinal cord injuries can be life changing, but injuries to the cervical vertebrae, located in the neck, are particularly dangerous. The spinal cord in the cervical region controls breathing and arm movement. Despite the general consensus that these types of injuries are untreatable, Payton remained determined to improve his situation.
A car accident left Payton with a spinal cord injury at the C4 vertebrae. Payton was left with quadriplegia, limited bowel and bladder control, and a bleak prognosis for any future rehabilitation. Most patients in his position would be bedridden for life. His team of doctors believed his treatment options were limited at best. However, Payton discovered that Epidural Stimulation had been effective in helping numerous spinal cord injuries and decided to pursue this type of treatment for himself.
“There are things you can do to get better. Never give up. Never listen to them telling you that you won’t get better.”
Epidural Stimulation is a breakthrough spinal cord injury treatment involving the epidural stimulation device. This device helps communications from the brain to bypass the site of the spinal cord injury, and can allow the recipient to make voluntary movements that would often previously be impossible to make.
The treatment regimen for Payton also included regenerative treatment. In this treatment method, cells are transplanted into the body to supplement the neurons and to help rebuild the injured region. Payton also took part in several Occupational Therapy sessions and Physiotherapy sessions as part of his rehabilitation. The breakthrough Epidural Stimulation treatment together with Payton's continued determination has given him a chance to recover his independence.
Payton’s progress is proof of the remarkable feats of modern medicine. Now, he is able to sit up straight on a mattress for forty minutes and can even fully stand, with assistance, for five to seven minutes at a time. Furthermore, a specially designed hoist system has helped Payton to take steps on his own.
“Before now, I have never been able to hold myself up. I would fall forward. I didn’t have the core strength.”
Payton's future recovery is looking bright. With the constant support of his father, Payton is certainly up to the challenge of improving his condition. The young American was able to improve his muscle control, standing ability, and confidence with each therapy session. With many improvements on the horizon, Payton’s story is a shining beacon of hope for patients worldwide.
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