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Paralyzed Rutgers Player Eric Legrand Should Look To Adam Taliaferro For Inspiration


water cooler logoEric Legrand, a defensive tackle for Rutgers saw his life change in the span of a second this weekend. One moment he was was making a tackle during the Rutgers-Army game. And, the next Legrand was paralyzed - from the neck down.

Whenever we hear news of an athlete being paralyzed, images of Dennis Byrd, Mike Utley, and Adam Taliaferro come to mind. Byrd and Utley were former NFL players who played for the Jets and Lions respectively. Dennis Byrd eventually was able to walk again after years of rehab. Mike Utley unfortunately would never walk again.

Adam Taliaferro, the former Penn State football player was paralyzed from the neck down after bursting his fifth cervical vertebra and bruising his spinal cord. He was unable to control his body and fell, rolling over his neck. Following successful surgery, Taliaferro was told he only had a 3% chance of ever walking again.

After eight months of lengthy rehab, Adam Taliaferro would be able to walk again.Taliaferro is now living a normal life some 10 years after his injury.

Eric Legrand should look no further than the story of Adam Taliaferro for inspiration. Doctors are still unsure just how severe Legrand's injury is, but in this era of medicine we can never say never when it comes to paralysis. Technological advances in the field of paralysis treatment have grown leaps and bounds especially in the past decade. Take for instance the Institutute for Advanced Reconstruction in New Jersey, which has an arsennal of techniques at their disposal for treating spinal cord paralysis. In fact the field of Nerve Reconstruction and Paralysis Treatment as a whole is evolving at an alarming rate and should be able to provide Legrand with an excellent chance at recovery. 

Hopefully some day in our lifetimes - when one is paralyzed there will be a 100% chance of recovery. Never say never when it comes to the advances in science and medicine.

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Contact Dennis Bakay at dbakay@philly2philly.com