When Calven Goza’s 2012 car crash left him unable to move anything below the chest, he expected that he would never walk again. That did not stop him from hoping he might do so again one day – and thanks to a revolutionary program out of the University of Louisville, it looks like Mr. Goza’s hopes were well-founded. This past December, he was able to move his leg for the first time since his accident.
So far, a total of five men – Goza included – have undergone the surgical treatment developed by the University. All five men have “regained movement in their legs, and can use them to help support them while standing. They’ve also seen improvements in blood pressure regulation, bladder function, and sexual function.”
Surgeons implanted electrodes near the vertebrae in the spine; in Mr. Goza’s case, the T12 and L1 vertebrae. After recuperating from the surgery, the doctors began sending electrical pulses to the electrodes to “map” the spine, to see what combination of electrodes was having what effect. Because the study is ongoing, the researchers have not released all of the details about why the process works, or how they can map the spine. But Mr. Goza is living proof that whatever the University of Louisville is doing, it is definitely on the right path.
Paralysis by the numbers
Mr. Goza and the four other men in the study are lucky to have been chosen; more than 1,000 people were on the University’s list, and nearly 6 million people in the U.S. suffer with some form of paralysis. Of those 6 million, about 1.275 million are paralyzed as the result of a spinal cord injury. Like Mr. Goza, 24% of those victims were paralyzed in an auto accident - the second most common cause of spinal cord injury-related paralysis in the country. Paralysis can happen if you are in an accident where:
- You collide with another vehicle or a stationary object
- You are not wearing your seat belt
- Your airbags fail to deploy, or your seat belt fails to keep you in the car
- You are hit by a drunk driver
- You suffer a traumatic brain injury
- You are riding a motorcycle without a helmet
We are very happy for Mr. Goza, and we hope that the University of Louisville continues to see such positive results from its new program. We also hope that one day its procedures will be available to everyone who can benefit from them.
Helping those who are seriously injured in car accidents
Crandall & Pera Law assists victims of serious car accidents throughout Kentucky and Ohio. If a collision has left you paralyzed, we want to hear your story. Please contact our firm to learn more about our services.