Medicine: Walking Away from Paralysis

It may be impossible to fix an injured spine, but in some cases, you may not have to

Brian Shumway for TIME

Chase Ford, four years old receives locomotor training from Dr. Susan Harkema (in pink jacket) and her assistant therapists at the Frazier Rehab Institute in Louisville, KY.

The best moment in ReneƩ Ford's life came the day her son Chase, then 2, tried to kick his doctor. It was July 2005, and that angry gesture marked the first time the boy had moved below the neck in more than a month.

These days when you look at Chase, you don't at first notice any sign of what happened to him that year--not the fall he took while jumping on the couch nor the paralyzing blow to the neck as he hit the wooden armrest. More and more, Chase can do the kinds of things any other 4-year-old can...

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