A Bulgarian man paralysed from the waist down in a stabbing attack is walking again thanks to treatment pioneered by leading Jewish neuroscientist.
Darek Fidyka is believed to be the first patient to recover from a complete severing of the spinal nerves. He suffered his injury in 2010 and has now regained sensation in his lower limbs and is able to walk with a frame.
Surgeons using methods grounded in the work of Professor Geoffrey Raisman, who used cells from Mr Fidyka’s nose to help regenerate the severed tissue.
Raisman, head of the Institute of Neurology at University College London, said he believes the treatment “will result in a historic change in the currently hopeless outlook for people disabled by spinal cord injury.”
The grammar school-educated son of a Jewish tailor from Leeds, Raisman was persuaded by his father to read medicine after he was awarded a scholarship to Oxford University.
Research conducted by Raisman at Oxford showed for the first time that the brain and central nervous system have a capacity to regenerate following trauma.
Raisman told reporters that the patient is “able to resume much of his original life, including driving a car” and is “absolutely delighted.”