More on Russ and the charity
Before Russ headed back to Kentucky to rejoin his Spinal Research programme, our friends at Chiswick Buzz managed to catch up with him at The Hogarth Health Club in Chiswick.
WATCH THE VIDEO, then read on for what Kentucky hold's for Russ in n his own words:
Extract from Russ's BLOG
Iâm on the flight now, a few hours into the 14 hour total journey. Itâs not anywhere near as daunting as 2 months ago, my knowing that my destination hotel, hospital, therapists there, are all survivable.
I find myself looking beyond the end of this clinical trial, to the possibility of my being chosen for what has become ( at least for me ) the Holy Grail. As Iâve alluded to before, they are doing amazing things in Louisville, with the help of The Christopher and Dana Reeves Foundation, in the desperate search for a cure/ treatment of paralysis through spinal cord injury.
So far 8 guys like me have surgically received an Epidural Implant, and ( certainly the initial four ) regained some sensation, control and function below their spinal injury. Not walking, perhaps barely standing, but controlled movement, and control of toilet ( restroom ) function represents a massive improvement in lifestyle and dignity.
Surveys of the Spinally Cord Injured 2 years after injury have shown that 98% would forego walking â justâ to have the Big Three back ( the 3rd being sexual sensation and reaction ). That might seem strange to anybody without this injury, but the loss of those 3 truly is a shocker, along with the more outwardly obvious inability to walk, sit up, lean over, move legs, move arms, use hands and even simply breathe.
The Big Idea is to operate on 35 people in the next few years, a number large enough to prove or disprove this as a âtreatmentâ.
I canât tell you how much Iâd like to be on this particular trial, having the opportunity to regain something, indeed anything.
One thing is for sureâ¦ That by being here, I have more chance than if Iâm not. I canât select myself, or have the option to pay for it ( though it would be crazily expensive ) so all I can do is to be in the arena, and be compliant, and be clinically suitable. The first two I CAN influence, the third I canât.
If offered the chance, then I would take it ( and there is the eventuality of it not working ) and it would mean another year at least, Iâm guessing, here in Kentuckyâ¦. for the pre op, the operation, and the post op retraining of paralysed parts to function again.
It probably wonât be the case that Iâll be selected, but I need to at least try, to make my own luck.