Jamie Butcher

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Weston WV Man, Paralyzed From the Neck Down, Dreams of Becoming a Bodybuilder

Weston, WV— On September 12, 2012, Jamie Butcher was involved in a devastating car accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. The car in front of him, which had no working brake lights, slammed on the brakes, causing Jamie to rear-end the car at 35 mph.  Jamie was transported to the local hospital emergency room, where a CT scan suggested that nothing was wrong beyond being in shock from the accident. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

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The mangled remains of Jamie’s truck

The emergency room staff removed Jamie’s neck brace, and his wife, Lisa began to help dress him with the assistance of Jamie’s father. When Jamie attempted to stand, he started sliding off the bed and insisted that something was badly wrong. The emergency room staff, with the assistance of Jamie’s family, wrestled him back into bed, all without the neck brace. Jamie, who had no sensation from the neck down, demanded to be sent to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, despite the objections of the hospital staff, who continued to insist that Jamie was merely in shock. At Ruby, Jamie underwent a thorough neurological evaluation and an MRI, which showed a herniation of the C3 disk pressing on the main electrical pathway from Jamie’s brain. Jamie’s surgeon, Dr. Scott Daffner, removed part of the C3 vertebra in order to remove the disk material pressing on Jamie’s spinal cord. Dr. Daffner then used cadaver bone, 2 plates, and 8 titanium screws to stabilize Jamie’s cervical spine.

 

 

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Alexander Johnson

Alexander Johnson

 

 

Morgantown, WV– In 2014, Autum Johnson delivered a healthy, happy baby boy she named Alexander. As he developed, Alexander started to lose the ability to move. At five weeks old, Alexander was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy type 1 (SMA-1), a rare genetic disorder that is related to ALS (commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). As these children progressively lose movement, they become locked in their bodies. Babies with SMA-1 are not able to sit up, swallow, or breathe without assistance and require specialized 24-hour care. Alexander’s movement is currently limited to his eyebrows, jaw, and index fingers.

“I’m completely open about everything that is going on with Alex. I hope that another mother finds the information and doesn’t have to make the mistakes we made early in the process just because the information wasn’t out there,” Autum explains.

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Mike and Levi Lockard

Mike and Levi Lockard
Ireland, WV, April 29, 2016

Seven years ago, Mike Lockard and his wife brought home their fourth child, a beautiful baby boy they called Levi. Mike and his wife quickly realized that something was wrong with their son. Levi was having extreme difficulty in nursing and began rapidly losing weight. The Lockards took Levi to WVU Medical Center, where they were told their son was going to die. They were instructed that all they could do was to take their baby home and make him as comfortable as possible. Not ready to give up, Mike and his wife took Levi to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, where doctors put Levi on a temporary feeding tube. After Levi began gaining weight, the doctors put in a permanent GI tube.

Seizure Control, But With Side Effects

Levi has cerebral palsy. He is totally deaf. Along with these challenges, Levi also has two different kinds of seizures and has Autism Spectrum Disorder. Levi’s seizures are currently fairly well controlled with medication; however, these drugs come with serious side effects. In the past, when Levi was on a common seizure medication called Keppra, Levi experienced rages as a side effect of the drug where he would bite, hit himself, or bang his head onto the floor. While Levi was taking Keppra, the Lockards spent up to 16 hours a day just trying to keep Levi from hurting himself.

It’s ridiculous. With all the drugs that people are allowed to take, it doesn’t make sense that we can’t have a plant that has grown in the ground for centuries.

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Mary Nichols: Our Founding Patient

In 2008, Mary Nichols was working to change her life. Through diet and exercise, she lost nearly 70 pounds and was fit enough to walk 3 miles every day.

The problem was that Mary was also in severe pain. She spent most nights awake in the recliner playing games online as a distraction from the severe nerve pain that made it impossible to lie down and sleep.

Mary went through all of the protocols for conservative treatment for low back pain.

An MRI showed nothing that really explained the severe, searing pain Mary experienced on a daily basis. Just a few bulging disks. Nothing to worry about. But the pain didn’t go away.

Eventually, doctors at a local pain clinic in Charleston, WV convinced Mary that a spinal cord neuro-stimulator was the only option that was left. 

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An MRI showed nothing that really explained the severe, searing pain Mary experienced on a daily basis. Just a few bulging disks. Nothing to worry about. But the pain didn’t go away.

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