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Four supports nsif, helping a paralysed man walk again

A father’s promise has led to a life-changing medical breakthrough for spinal injuries. A paralysed man is now able to walk again. This incredible story, handled by Four Colman Getty, will feature as a World Exclusive in tonight’s BBC One’s Panorama.

After his son, Daniel, was paralysed from the neck down in an accident, David Nicholls promised that he would not give up trying to find a way to cure paralysis. David’s promise was the catalyst for him to set up Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation (nsif), a charity devoted to spinal injury research and treatment, in the hope that one day it would lead to a cure for paralysis.

Now research funded by the nsif and UK Stem Cell Foundation has uncovered a possible cure for paralysis, using olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs)- specialist cells which enable nerve fibres in the nose to renew.

Pioneering neuroscientists, Professor Geoffrey Raisman and Dr Pawel Tabakow, have seen staggering results in the treatment Bulgarian patient, Darek, who became paralysed in 2010. 

Darek was severely injured when he was stabbed in an attack. He was left paralysed from the chest down, with complete spinal cord transection. Following treatment Darek is now able to walk with a frame and has recovered lower limb sensation. He is continuing to improve further than predicted; he is able to drive and live more independently.

BBC One’s Panorama has filmed his progress since December 2013; the programme will transmit as a World Exclusive on Tuesday 21 October at 22.35 GMT + 1. 

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