While too late for Chris Reeves and Travis Roy, their work along, with countless allies, helped highlight and fund the push for medical advances to address spinal cord injuries. This is a positive development.
Just this year, two local high school hockey players were dramatically paralyzed in school competitions. What a toll it must be for them and their families to maintain some semblance of a positive outlook for the future.
The chance for a more positive future seems to have arrived.
(Who remembers long ago a fellow neighborhood youth who killed himself because of his dispair with his paralysis.)
This is encouraging news. Spinal cords never repair, finding a way to stimulate those muscle fibres with this technology will lead to more applications as was stated in this article. How long will it be before it will be ready for the masses and how much will it cost. Several hurdles to overcome but heading in a great direction.
Yup. As someone facing an atrial valve replacement in the future, I am keeping my eye out to the development of stem cell research and its use for organ repair/transplant.
I am realistic that it would likely not be available in my lifetime. I’ll have a choice between long life titanium valve (with requirement of accompanying blood thinner medication), or a biologic (pig) valve with a life expectancy of 10-12 years but without the need for blood thinners. That type of medication would essentially eliminate my participation in the physical pursuits that enrich my life and make it worth living. Once I take the biologic valve, my countdown clock starts ticking.
Sing, is the TAVR, transaortic valve replacement, an option? I was told by a cardiac surgeon that they expect it to have similar endurance to the more invasive option. And it might alter the post ok medication profiles.
My stepmother had it but there is limited long term endurance for someone who is already 96 yrs old.
My situation is a progressive mitral valve regurgitation. It was “repaired” about 11 years ago but is now back to “moderate” leakage categorization. Last surgery was when I deteriorated to “moderate/severe” categorization.
There is more use of the transcatheter method to mitral valve surgery for those who can’t bear the impact of open heart surgery because of health and/or age. However, it is still the choice of artificial valve (mitraclip) with blood thinners, or a short life biologic valve for now.
As I tell my wife and sons, I am ok with a shorter life biologic valve. I am 65 and have had a great and active life. A possibility of another 10-15 years of good quality living is fine by me (and enough to see my granddaughters reach teenage years).
I see my heart doc on Monday to talk about replacing my aortic valve by TAVR. I was offered a cracked chest and passed . I get tested quarterly to determine if it’s time.
Sing, I’m 73 so 12 years sounds good to me.
Re the TAVR, not wildly uncommon to end up also getting a pacemaker because of a nerve they can get near. It added a day and a half to my stepmothers hospital time.
I think it is a good procedure. In my stepmothers case l think stretched things a bit too far at 96. There is a point in time where the patient is not going to get anywhere near the maximum benefits, she was such a case.
You will do fine Sing… My son in law has had three maybe four mitral valve replacements in fifty years. He was born with a congenital floppy valve. He is now up to cow valve now. TAVR might be in his future.
As for paraplegics one of the best sports they can get interested in is paddling. On the water everyone is alike… I met a functional quad that used a wheelchair in daily life but had a monster roll in a yak… Everything in the boat was of course fitted to a t.
Thanks for sharing that! I have a friend from MA practice also born with congenital heart valve issue. He had already had repairs when I met him in college. He and I used to do friendly competitions against each other, sparring, biking, running, swimming. Lots of fun. We still remininsced how he idiotically took me (and me even more so for following him) on a tanden canoe paddle out from his mother’s house at Pine Point/Scarborough ME on the outgoing tide. Water was calm and glassy as we went out and around Prouts Neck to swim and lunch at Scarborough beach. Well… You can imagine… On the paddle back, the wind and waves had picked up (my friend laughed that he had never seen me as terrified) to 2-3’ chops. Anyway, we decided to head straight out against the waves, past the tip of the Prouts Point, and then do a sharp angle turn to head back in to Pines Point. I still remember a good nature Lobster fisherman, indling his boat up to us and in classic Downeast drawl said, “Aye… a little rough to be out here in that lil’ boat of yours.” He offered a ride back in. My friend said, no. I think that sometimes God protects fools as part of the divine comedy of life.
Anyway, my friend had a titanium valve replacement about 15 years ago. He is on Wafarin and handful of other medications. He really can’t do contact sports (martial arts) and anything else without extra care (biking). He is the reason (not that I told him) that I have decided that when the time comes, I am going with a biologic valve for a higher quality, albeit potentially shorter life.