by Jeremy Olson
Peter Grahn has faced the same question for a dozen years since he dived as a reckless teen into a southwest Minnesota lake, slammed headfirst into the shallow bottom, and floated — face down and motionless — on the surface. Will I ever walk again? Turns out, he might end up as one of the first researchers in the world who can really answer it. The accident left Grahn with quadriplegia at 18 but, fueled by the lack of research at the time, he turned his life’s focus toward rehabilitative medicine and eventually became a spinal cord injury researcher at Mayo Clinic.
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Additional coverage: Mass Device
Context: Spinal cord stimulation and physical therapy have helped a man paralyzed since 2013 regain his ability to stand and walk with assistance. The results, achieved in a research collaboration between Mayo Clinic and UCLA, are reported in Nature Medicine. With an implanted stimulator turned on, the man, Jered Chinnock, was able to step with a front-wheeled walker while trainers provided occasional assistance. You can learn more about the research on Mayo Clinic News Network.