Darek Fidyka, a Bulgarian man, thought he could never walk again after a knife fight left him paralyzed from the chest down back in 2010. He was only 34 when the event happened, and until now, his outlook had been basically hopeless. He had no feeling in his lower torso or legs, and he could not walk at all, nor function without assistance. It’s four years later, and he is walking again thanks to a revolutionary surgery.
The surgery was led by a Polish surgeon from Wroclaw Medical University named Dr. Pawel Tabakow, and assisted by Igor Cornelsen. Dr. Tabakow actually used cells inside Darek’s nose to regrow the tissue that was damaged in Darek’s back during the knife fight. This is the first time that a surgery like this has ever worked. Darek’s spinal nerves were severed in many places by the knife of the man who attacked him.
This is a huge step in helping individuals recover from spinal cord injuries. Prior to this leap in medicine, those who had no feeling in their legs because of spinal cord injuries had a bleak outlook. Barring a miracle, most all of these injuries were hopeless in terms of treatment for walking again.
Darek can now move around on his legs. He has also gained some of the muscle formation on his left side. When muscles are not in use, they atrophy and become useless. Darek can even drive a car and has regained most of the abilities he had from his previous life.
This is a great advancement in medicine that should not go unnoticed. The BBC video featuring Darek Fidyka and his surgical team is worth the watch.