Paralyzed Man Stands Up
A hit-and-run accident five years ago left Rob Summers paralyzed from the waist down. Doctors said he would never walk again, but thanks to a new type of therapy, he can now stand on his own.
Summers’ injury disrupted the nerve pathway that normally triggers walking. Researchers implanted an electrical stimulator at the base of the spine that – along with special exercises – allowed his legs to move without input from the brain.
“I stand about an hour a day,” Summers says. “I can move my toes ankles knees, hips all on command.”
He’s also made other meaningful progress – regaining bladder and sexual function. But he’s still wheelchair-bound, and doctors cannot say whether he’ll walk again on his own. But, every day, he remembers the first time he stood up.
“It’s that moment that continues to give me the hope for tomorrow, and the future for this project – and helping out millions of other people in my same situation,” Summer says.