"The epidural stimulation technology really helps me feel like I'm back to who I was before my injury."
— Kent Stephenson
Following his injury, Kent was classified as both motor and sensory complete, so he was unable to move or feel
below his injury level at T5 and T6. Researchers were uncertain if epidural stimulation would work, but Kent
challenged their hypothesis - and recovered the same autonomic and motor functions as Rob Summers, the first study
How were you injured?
"I was a Pro-Am Motocross racer. I hit a jump and my motor locked up. The accident left me
paralyzed from the chest down when I was 21. The doctors told me it was a complete injury — basically that
there was no hope for me to regain any mobility."
What was your life like before your injury?
"I was really active. In addition to the motocross, I was into a lot of outdoor stuff. A
lot of those things I wasn't able to do after my injury, either because of physical limitations or just not having
enough time between managing all of the complications of SCI."
How has the epidural stimulation research changed your life?
"I had tried to move my legs so many times — and then with the stimulator on, I was able
to complete the movement. It was nuts. Being able to stand on my own is an amazing feeling. I can work out now and
go hunting, fishing and trailing. I feel really good. Sometimes I forget I still have a wheelchair."
The University of Louisville maintains a patient registry for individuals who are interested in participating in clinical research studies at the University. If you are living with paralysis and would like to learn more or be considered as a research participant, please add yourself to the registry.
Our goal is to fund epidural stimulation research in 36 new participants — men and women from a range of backgrounds — to prove its efficacy. Get in on the ground floor with what we believe will be the new cornerstone therapy by investing in the research now.