Electrical stimulation gives hope to paralyzed teen

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A diving accident left Chris Corsi paralyzed at age 17.

He has no mobility form the chest down and has the last spent three months in the hospital recovering.

"I broke my neck so I'm a c7 quad which means that I've lost a lot of finger dexterity and I don't really have any trunk control," said Chris. "It's affected everything your whole life changes."

The FES Bike makes it less of a challenge.

Electrodes deliver an electrical current to the muscles that don't voluntarily work anymore to restore or improve their function.

"What we are trying to do with electrical stimulation is make new pathways or help reeducate that muscle to contract or to illicit muscle building," said Christina Hall, a physical therapist at Levine Inpatient Rehabilitation.

Levine Children's Hospital just became the only pediatric facility in North Carolina to have the new equipment.

Hall says people with Muscular Sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and spinal cord injuries can benefit from the bike.

The goal? "To show families out there that have some type of neurological condition that this is an option and this is something they can use to better their child or family member," added Hall.

Chris bikes about 30 minutes a day. It's not easy but it helps him physically and his overall well being.

"Many things have completely improved," said Chris. "It's helped a lot as far as building muscle goes."

And that is all the hope Chris needs. He says he is starting to feel sensation in areas. Chris is also able to monitor his progress and compare sessions online.

For more information on the FES: http://www.restorative-therapies.com/

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