Paralympian regains use of legs

Paralyzed since 13, Maria van der Vorst has won two medals in the Paralympics.  Two years ago a freak training incident surprisingly restored feeling in her legs.  Some question the claims:

“I have never heard of a case of damage to the spinal cord where someone lost feeling and strength in their legs and then had a second accident that gave them feeling back,” said Dr. Michael Boninger, professor and chair of the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and director of the rehabilitation institute at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “The fundamental truth is that accidents don’t cause damaged nerve cells to regenerate.”

Still, Boninger added, “I would have to also say that there’s a lot in medicine that we don’t know and a lot we have yet to learn.”

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