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Thread: Paraplegic Man Suffers Spider Bite, Walks Again

  1. #1
    Senior Member FasterNow's Avatar
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    Paraplegic Man Suffers Spider Bite, Walks Again

    A friend mentioned that he had looked into some similarities between protein in black widow spider venom and a protein implicated in glaucoma. The story itself leaves a lot to the imagination, anyone heard more about David Blancarte and his recovery? Is there a connection to the spider bite and his walking, or just coincidence?





    Paraplegic Man Suffers Spider Bite, Walks Again

    Reporting
    Mike Dello Stritto
    MANTECA, Calif. (CBS13) ―

    He has been confined to a wheelchair for 20 years. Now a paraplegic man is walking again, and his doctors call it a miracle. CBS13 went to Manteca to find out how a spider bite helped get him back on his feet.

    "I closed my eyes and then I was spinning like a flying saucer," explains David Blancarte.

    A motorcycle accident almost killed David 21 years ago. At the time he might have wished he was dead.

    "I asked my doctor, 'Sir what happened? I can't feel my legs'," said David.

    Ever since, David's been relying on his wheelchair to get around. Then the spider bite. A Brown Recluse sent him to the hospital, then to rehab for eight months.

    "I'm here for a spider bite. I didn't know I would end up walking," says David.

    A nurse noticed David's leg spasm and ran a test on him.

    "When they zapped my legs, I felt the current, I was like 'whoa' and I yelled," he says.

    He felt the current and the rush of a renewed sense of hope.

    "She says,'your nerves are alive. They're just asleep'," explained David.

    Five days later David was walking.

    "I was walking on the bar back and forth," he said.

    Now David is out of the hospital and on his feet and walking.

    David basks in his glory and gives a ray of hope to other hoping to walk again. The 48-year-old former boxer and dancer is taking it in stride, knowing his best days are still ahead. ...

    http://cbs13.com/local/Paraplegic.Ma....2.958151.html
    Injured 7-22-06, T-11 T-12 complete. [Holds up cardboard sign] "Will work for returns."
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    Spiderman has always been a hero of mine. As a T-4 para 23 years post injury, I may have to go looking for a magic spider if this turns out to be true. For his sake, I hope it is.

    Basically it means that therapy for spinal injury cases has improved significantly in the last twenty years. Back then, they told him there was nothing they could do; now there is, at least for cases like his. The spider bite just got him back in the hospital where they could recognize that.
    Last edited by Manix5; 03-13-2009 at 10:27 PM.
    "If everything is under control, you are going too slow." - Mario Andretti

  3. #3
    I watched the video but i didn´t see him really walking
    People misunderstand the concept of walking i think.
    -Ramps in buildings are necessary, but it would be usefull to have another ones for people (mind/heart).....

    -Hoc non pereo habebo fortior me

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    Senior Member Imight's Avatar
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    its the therapy for sure.

    your bones after not walking for 23 years would snap like twigs with any kind of vigorous traininig.

    one said thing I realized yesterday while attending the irvine convention is, people that have suffered from this injury since damn near birth, that have very small legs (forget the correct term) will probably not walk for 10 years AFTER stem cells, AND various other therapies. this will include a lot of pain, sweat, and breaks. stem cells may improve somethings, but for those looking to walk (depending how healthy and long youve been injured) it may never happen.

    its a sad affair.

  5. #5
    Sad but true. For some of us is too late to walk again(real/normal walking)
    -Ramps in buildings are necessary, but it would be usefull to have another ones for people (mind/heart).....

    -Hoc non pereo habebo fortior me

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    Senior Member FasterNow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manix5 View Post
    ...The spider bite just got him back in the hospital where they could recognize that.
    You're probably right, but it seems that he would have noticed if he had some returns, even small ones, without the therapists pointing it out.
    Injured 7-22-06, T-11 T-12 complete. [Holds up cardboard sign] "Will work for returns."
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    Senior Member FasterNow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isildur View Post
    I watched the video but i didn´t see him really walking
    People misunderstand the concept of walking i think.
    I just watched a video of him with his KAFO's and walker. The little they showed sure looked better than what I can do as a T-12. I certainly wouldn't call what I do walking but it seems like David has potential.
    Injured 7-22-06, T-11 T-12 complete. [Holds up cardboard sign] "Will work for returns."
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    Senior Member FasterNow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imight View Post
    its the therapy for sure.

    your bones after not walking for 23 years would snap like twigs with any kind of vigorous traininig.

    one said thing I realized yesterday while attending the irvine convention is, people that have suffered from this injury since damn near birth, that have very small legs (forget the correct term) will probably not walk for 10 years AFTER stem cells, AND various other therapies. this will include a lot of pain, sweat, and breaks. stem cells may improve somethings, but for those looking to walk (depending how healthy and long youve been injured) it may never happen.

    its a sad affair.
    I haven't seen anything mentioned that he's hurt himself since he's been trying to walk. I'd like to hear more about his story. How many times has he had therapy in the last twenty years and what did it consist of? I'd like to see what he does over the next couple years now that he knows he has something to work with.
    Injured 7-22-06, T-11 T-12 complete. [Holds up cardboard sign] "Will work for returns."
    2010 SCINet Clinical Trial Support Squad Member
    Please join me and donate a dollar a day at http://justadollarplease.org and copy and paste this message to the bottom of your signature.

  9. #9
    I saw the segment on CBS 5.

    Facts:
    1. He's been injured 23 years.
    2. He's got twin daughters which are 14 years of age.
    3. He was bitten by an arachnid.
    4. Said arachnid attack was sever enough to send him to the hospital.
    5. He was "walking" within weeks (21 days, I think).

    My opinion is that at the time he was hurt, the prognosis given him demotivated him from capitalizing on his long-term residual neurology. He's experienced some sort of recovery throughout the years which may have motivated him to attempt some sort of gait training. This may be the reason his skeletal structure can withstand the demands of upright propagation. I am assuming he was originally diagnosed as "complete" and judging by what I saw on the video would currently place him at ASIA C-/D+.

    Bottom line is, hit the gym...early on...even if you think there is nothing there.
    No one ever became unsuccessful by helping others out

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    Senior Member cypresss's Avatar
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    Hi there,

    I bet you know where Mantecao is, but maybe some of the CC members are near that zone and we can have more accurate data.
    The red zone is where the Brown Recluse Spider resides but some are reported in California(surce).
    I have the following question:
    - What if that spider bite just increased legs spasticity?
    Last edited by cypresss; 03-15-2009 at 08:35 AM.
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