- Title: HEALTH-PARALYSED MAN/UPDATE Cell transplant helps paralysed man walk with frame
- Date: 22nd October 2014
- Summary: WROCLAW, POLAND (OCTOBER 22, 2014) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Polish) PARALYSED PATIENT WHO UNDERWENT SURGERY PARTIALLY RESTORING MOVEMENT, DARIUSZ FIDYKA, SAYING: "The first hope appeared in 2011 in May. I arranged a visit to doctor Tabakow at the Akson Rehabilitation Center. When the doctor saw my magnetic resonance image, I saw his hair standing on end because he didn't expect a patient with such an injury to be qualified for the procedure."
- Embargoed: 6th November 2014 12:00
- Location: Poland
- Country: Poland
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVA9INQ2VO85W05BM5QEICK7OEN7
- Story Text: The patient who is recovering from paralysis thanks to a pioneering transplant procedure, Dariusz Fidyka, attended a news conference on Wednesday (October 22), as feats of his recovered mobility were relayed by the doctors who helped him get back on his feet by transplanting cells from his nasal cavity into his spinal cord.
Fidyka from Poland, was paralysed from the chest down after being stabbed in the back by his partner's ex-husband in 2010. He can now walk with the aid of a frame.
Visibly surprised by the amount of attention his case was attracting, he apologised for his hoarse voice, which he said came from talking to journalists.
"Movement in left leg appeared. In the right one the feeling is better, there is movement in the left (leg) and in general I'm in a better mood. Sense of touch, feeling of warm and cold, and various physiological functions, sexual functions - of course there are better and worse times but in general I can see everything is going in the right direction," Fidyka said about progress made after the transplant.
He recalled how in 2011, a year after he was stabbed, he made his first appointment to see Dr. Pawel Tabakow, one of the team that later treated him. "His hair stood on end - he didn't expect a patient with such an injury," Fidyka said.
The doctors at the Wroclaw clinic said they would advertise via the Internet for volunteers with similar injuries to their patient. They plan to set up a website in Polish and another in English to advertise for volunteers.
The technique, described as a breakthrough by a study in the journal Cell Transplantation, involved transplanting what are known as olfactory ensheathing cells into the patient's spinal cord and constructing a "nerve bridge" between two stumps of the damaged spinal column.
The pioneering research was led by Geoffrey Raisman, a professor at University College London's institute of neurology, who worked with surgeons at Wroclaw University Hospital.
However, specialists in the field have cautioned that success with one patient is too soon to conclude that the treatment could be of wider benefit. In some cases patients see significant improvement in function purely through rehabilitation, and the passage of time, they say.
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