Stricken by 'surfer's myelothapy,' paralyzed teen learns to walk again



Stricken by ‘surfer’s myelothapy,’ paralyzed teen learns to walk again

A rare spinal cord injury left 18-year-old surfer Kristen Adlhoch paralyzed, but thanks to special neurostimulation braces, she is walking again.

By Rebecca Dube, TODAY Moms editor

A freak injury stole Kristen Adlhoch’s ability to walk, but the 18-year-old decided she wouldn’t let it take away her hope.

Fifteen months after she collapsed on the beach, paralyzed from the waist down, Adlhoch walked across the TODAY studio, aided by crutches and an electronic device called the NESS L300 that stimulates her muscles, allowing her to walk.

Adlhoch was injured after she tried surfing for the first time during a family vacation to Hawaii. Her legs started feeling strange, so she headed to shore — and made it about 50 yards before she collapsed. The diagnosis: Surfer’s Myelopathy, a rare condition in which repeated hyperextension of the back causes a loss of blood flow to the spinal cord.

Adlhoch returned home from vacation in a wheelchair, and was told by doctors she may never walk again. But thanks to physical therapy, the electronic stimulator…

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