Surfer's paralysis

Posted by Ralph | 3:31 PM |

I got this info and link from a private social network that I belong too and it's the craziest thing I have seen, or even heard of regarding spinal cord injuries.

"Hawaii is known for its blue skies, warm water and young people thrilled to be catching their first real waves. Surfers like Joe Guintu should worry about surfer's myelopathy, a spinal injury that causes paralysis. Joe Guintu and fiancee Ivette Flores smile before a surfing lesson that left Guintu paralyzed by a rare condition known as surfer's myelopathy.

(Courtesy of Joe Guintu )

What these enthusiastic beginners might not know, and what few people realize, is that a mysterious threat could be lurking not under the water but in their bodies.

Joe Guintu of Los Angeles and his girlfriend Ivette Flores took a trip last year to Hawaii, where Guintu decided to take a surfing lesson. After some brief instruction on the beach, he was in the water and managed to catch a wave almost immediately.

But something wasn't right. By the end of the lesson, Guintu said, "everything just seemed off. As Guintu, 25, got out of the water and headed toward some stairs to return his board, he thought, "This is impossible.

An ambulance rushed him to Straub Hospital in Honolulu. Flores remembered asking medical assistants and nurses, "Have you heard of this, do you know what it is?" No one seemed to have an answer.

But neurologist Beau Nakamoto had seen cases like this one before. By the time Guintu reached the hospital, Nakamoto said, he was essentially paralyzed from the waist down. The doctor immediately suspected surfer's myelopathy.

I did a wiki search and they defined it as "Surfer's myelopathy is a nontraumatic paraparesis/paraplegia that affects first-time surfers. It is a non-traumatic condition with most patients having a complete or near-complete recovery." Unlike most sports injuries, surfer's myelopathy is not the result of an obvious accident or trauma. Instead, it seems to be a mechanical problem that starts in the blood vessels surrounding the spine. For now, there is no medication or surgery to treat surfer's myelopathy. Many patients do recover, however, a goal both Guintu and Fritschner are working hard to accomplish through intense physical therapy."

To read the rest of the article go here , or watch it in primetime on ABC tonight at 10

I don't think I have ever heard a more appropriate example of Mark Twain's quote "The truth is stranger than fiction"

Article text taken from

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