A young paralyzed man just walked again after having an electrode implanted in his back.

Doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota have helped a paralyzed man walk 100 yards with the aid of a walker after implanting a remote-controlled electrode in his back.

Jered Chinnock, 29, was paralyzed five years ago after a devastating snowmobile accident left him with no movement or sensation below his mid-back. But after 43 weeks of intense rehab, and the help of the electrode, he was able to walk again.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic implanted a battery in his abdomen to power the spinal-nerve stimulating electrode.


If the electrode is turned off or loses power, Chinnock can no longer stand.

“The walking side of it isn’t something where I just leave my wheelchair behind and away I go,” Chinnock, of Tomah, Wisconsin, told The Associated Press. But, “there is the hopeful side of, maybe I’ll gain that — where I can leave the wheelchair behind, even if it is to walk to the refrigerator.”

via The Huffington Post

After 25 weeks of therapy Chinnock was able to take his first steps without a harness and since, he has walked over 100 yards and done so continuously for as long as 16 minutes.

“The reason why this is important is because the patient’s own mind, thought, was able to drive movement in his legs,” Dr Kendall Lee, who co-led the Mayo Clinic team, told The Independent. “Just as important is that we were able to get him to stand independently and take his own steps.”

While the study's initial results are promising, researchers need to dig deeper to uncover the specific reasons for their success.

“Now I think the real challenge starts, and that's understanding how this happened, why it happened, and which patients will respond,” said co-principal investigator Dr Kristin Zhao, director of the Mayo Clinic's Assistive and Restorative Technology Laboratory.

Researchers theorize that the electrical currents awaken nerve circuits beneath the injury which are droment, but living. The electric currents, paired with rigorous rehab, enable the nerve circuits to receive simple commands from the brain.

“To be able to move my legs and even to stand, it means a lot,” Chinnock told The Huffington Post. “That there’s hope for not only me, but other people.”

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.