Back in 2010, Ian Burkhart was a 19-year-old lacrosse player for Ohio University, celebrating the end of freshman year in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. But in a freak accident, he dove into the ocean, broke his neck on a sandbar he couldn't see, was paralyzed from the chest down, and has needed constant care ever since.
Now he's 23. And two-and-a-half months ago, he let doctors at Ohio State University try an experimental treatment that could help paralyzed people use their limbs again . . . by using their MINDS. It's called Neurobridge. Here's how it works . . .
They implanted a computer chip into his brain that's connected to a port in his skull. The port's connected to a computer so the chip can relay what he's thinking. Then the computer decodes it, and sends signals to a series of electrodes on his arm.
The idea was that if Ian could focus on his hand clenching into a fist, he actually WOULD clench his fist. But even his doctors didn't know if it would work . . . until last Wednesday when Ian gave it a test run. And it DID work.