Often paralysis comes after a traumatic injury, but for Loveland, Colorado resident Kristen Adlhoch, there was no such drama. After trying to learn to surf on the last day of her family vacation in Hawaii, the 19-year-old girl lost all feeling in her legs.
“We had pretty much did it all on the islands, and then we decided to try surfing on our last day,” Adlhoch said. “That was really the last time I felt my legs.”
According to doctors, Adlhoch must have arched her back too much and pinched a blood vessel to her spinal cord, depriving it of oxygen. The injury is called surfer’s myelopathy, and often victims recover. Adlhoch did not.
Thanks to new technology, though, the Colorado State University Freshman is now walking again for around two hours a day.
The NESS L300 is a wireless electronic device for patients with neurological damage, such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, or spinal-cord injury.
The device uses electrical stimulation to help patients life their feet, allowing them to walk. It only works if the patient has intact nerves to the spinal cord. Fortunately for Adlhoch, she does.
The young woman continues to improve her walking abilities, and hopes to eventually move into the college dorms.
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