Tickle the bottom of Matthew Sanford's foot, and he won't feel it. He's been paralyzed from the chest down since a car accident more than 30 years ago. But squeeze his ankles -- really squeeze them -- and he'll sense it.
A subtle energy, a sort of hum, will rush from his bone and spark to life in his brain. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic were quick to point out that any "feelings" he had in his legs were phantom sensations. They thought it best for him to ignore them because the fact was he'd never walk again. Why get his hopes up?
Detroit Free Press by Krista Jahnke, 1/17/2010