If you’ve had your ear to the ground recently in the world of spinal-cord treatments, you’ve heard of Ryan Straschnitzki. Even if you haven’t, his name may ring a bell: His story has been well-publicized because of the inspiring physical-recovery journey he is embarking on.
Mr. Straschnitzki travelled to Thailand for spine treatment roughly 18 months after he was involved in a tragic coach-bus accident in Canada. The collision left 16 of his fellow youth-hockey players dead and scores more seriously injured.
This included Ryan, who suffered a devastating T2 spinal-cord injury that left him paralyzed from the chest down.
But Ryan is a fighter. For him, the event wasn’t an ending, but a beginning. It served as an opportunity to write a new story for himself and his family, and the first chapter includes his trip to Unique Access Medical’s spine-surgery partner hospital in Bangkok.
He underwent the breakthrough surgery called Epidural Stimulation, where an electrical device was implanted on his spine, acting as a bridge between his brain’s signalling and the spinal-cord tissue below his injury.
Within two weeks of his surgery, Ryan was moving his legs. His parents joked that he almost kicked his therapist. Ryan has regained some control of his ankle, knee, and hip movements, but, as his doctor back in Calgary says, “He can get to a far higher ceiling than what we’re seeing now.”
His previously unthinkable recovery has been featured in countless social media posts, in an array of major publications’ articles, and on numerous broadcast platforms like CBS and BBC, which recently conducted an interview with Ryan
“It was a crazy feeling. Being able to do that after a year-and-a-half of being told ‘you’re never gonna be able to do that’ is a good feeling,” said Ryan. “I’m excited to see what else the future has in store.”
To hear Ryan Straschnitzki’s inspiring BBC interview, click here.
For an in-depth account of his past life, present challenges, and future possibilities, read the in-depth BBC article here.
Unique Access Medical, now Verita Neuro, has made it possible for over 70 SCI patients like Ryan to start regaining control of their lives. If you suffer from a spinal-cord injury and have been told physical therapy is your only option, contact us and a specialist will get in touch within 48 hours!