Paralysed man walks again after pioneering treatment in Poland
PR dla Zagranicy
A Pole who had been paralysed from the chest down has been healed at a university clinic in Wroclaw, south western Poland, in what is being hailed as a landmark operation.
Image: Panorama/press materials
Darek Fidyka thought that he would never walk again after being stabbed in 2010, but he is now on the mend thanks to Dr Pawel Tabakow, consultant neurosurgeon at Wroclaw University.
Dr Tabakow transplanted cells from Fidyka's nose into the 38-year-old's broken spinal column as part of the pioneering treatment.
The patient had not had any sense of feeling in most of his body for four years.
“When it begins to come back, you feel you've started your life all over again, as if you are reborn,” Fidyka told the BBC's Panorama programme.
Dr Tabakow was assisted by in his research by Professor Geoffrey Raisman, chair of neural regeneration at University College London's Institute of Neurology.
“What we've done is establish a principle, nerve fibres can grow back and restore function, provided we give them a bridge," Raisman said.
“To me, this is more impressive than a man walking on the moon. I believe this is the moment when paralysis can be reversed.”
Tabakow reflected it is "amazing to see how regeneration of the spinal cord, something that was thought impossible for many years, is becoming a reality."
Fidyka is currently convalescing at the Akron Neuro-Rehabilitation Centre in Wroclaw. (nh/pg)