Professor Spends Over 30 Years Trying To Cure Paralysis After Being Mocked: Does It


Professor Geoff Raisman and his team recently pioneered a revolutionary cure for paralysis. Their patient was Darek Fidyka, paralysed from the chest down following a knife attack where he was stabbed 18 times. Following treatment, Darek is now able to walk with the assistance of a frame. The pioneering cell transplantation treatment has been developed over the past 18 years by Professor Raisman and his team at UCL, and applied by surgeons at Wroclaw University Hospital, Poland.

Using specialist cells from the nose called OECs (olfactory ensheathing cells), the treatment involves implanting these cells in the spinal cord. The nerve cells that continuously grow back when damaged in order to keep giving our sense of smell were used to grow back the damaged nerve endings in Darek’s spinal chord – a procedure previously thought impossible.

Darek Fidyka, paralysed after suffering stab wounds to the back in 2010, had an 8mm gap in his spinal cord. He described the ability to walk again using a frame as “an incredible feeling,” and added: “when you can’t feel almost half your body, you are helpless, but when it starts coming back it’s as if you were born again.”

Dr Pawel Tabakow, consultant neurosurgeon at Wroclaw University Hospital who led the Polish research team said: “It’s amazing to see how regeneration of the spinal cord, something that was thought impossible for many years, is becoming a reality.”

Professor Raisman first discovered OECs in 1985 and successfully showed that they could be used to treat spinal injuries in rats in 1997. He joined UCL in 2004 and has spent the past decade developing OEC spinal repair techniques for patients. Now, after decades of hard work, his research has helped a paralysed man to walk again. This is his story.

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After years of research and a series of unpleasant experiences concerning the current child protection services system, Alec Cope decided to combat the cancerous corruption through information. Freelance writing articles as a form of protest and distributing them throughout his former high-school and local area, Alec struck special chords with whomever he was in contact with.

Alec has been involved in activism such as sit down protests as well as Idle No More gatherings. Being independent for the majority of his time, Alec became a member of the WeAreChange family to assist one of the organizations that inspired him to become active in the first place. With a larger platform and positive support Alec has committed the majority of his time to research, writing, and maintaining social media with the goal to continue expanding the awakening sweeping throughout all levels of society.

Growing up within a rural area in Northern Michigan as well as being a native American descendant, Alec is seeking to expose environmental abuse in his state as well as globally. A high-school dropout, Alec chases his passion for writing and empowering individuals while showing any isolated person that they too can overcome the odds with a community that will support them. Alec lives in the lower peninsula of Michigan near Kalamazoo.

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