MIDNIGHT on a dark street and Rob Summers is laying on the ground, alone.
The driver of an unknown vehicle has just sideswiped him and then driven away in a horrific hit-and-run accident that has left Rob unable to move. It would be another five and a-half hours before a neighbor would find him and an ambulance would be called.
When Rob woke from surgery, the doctor told him he was paralysed from the neck down – that he would never stand or walk again, nor regain voluntary bladder and bowel function.
The 20 year-old aspiring professional athlete was now considered a complete quadriplegic.
Two years later Rob’s life took another major and unexpected turn when he was approved to be the world’s first recipient of an epidural stimulator implant on his spine.
Rob underwent surgery on December 7, 2009.
On Dec 21, 2009, Rob stood independently for the first time since his accident.
In May 2011, he stood on-stage next to Professor Edgerton and Dr Susan Harkema (a former PhD student at Professor Edgerton’s UCLA lab and now leading researcher at the University of Louisvile Kentucky) at a NYC fund-raising event, using only a standing frame.
Since receiving the implant and undergoing neurostimulation treatment, Rob has regained significant bladder and bowel control, sexual function and temperature control.
In defiance of being told by his doctor that he would never stand again, Rob can also now stand independently for up to an hour and a half at a time.
Such is the incredible POWER and PROMISE of this new field of 'neurostimulation' research for spinal cord injury, pioneered by Prof Edgerton and his associates in America.
Project Edge will see Prof Edgerton and his research team working with Professor Bryce Vissel and top, Australian scientists at the University of Technology Sydney to develop the next generation of this remarkable research right here at home.
We URGENTLY need your help to purchase costly lab equipment so this life-changing work can start as soon as possible.
This Christmas, we are aiming to purchase one (of three required) stimulator units at a cost $13,000. A vital tool that will be used to start stimulating recovery in our first Australian trial participants in 2017.
PLEASE DONATE $50 NOW towards this purchase and give the gift of real hope for recovery from spinal cord injury this Christmas.
Rob Summers continues to improve in strength and mobility, and says:
“I see hope, I see a bright future, I see endless possibilities. I see a world where, to quote the great Christopher Reeve ‘I see a world with empty wheelchairs’”
HELP ACHIEVE THIS VISION BY DONATING TO PROJECT EDGE TODAY!