35-year-old Tomasz has been in a coma since May. He had a brain stimulator implanted two weeks ago at the University Hospital in Olsztyn. He is now completely conscious, understands what is being said and responds to it.
At the same time the patient is upset. He is now very aware of his physical state. He suffers from spastic paresis. We try to explain to him that first he needs to undergo rehabilitation – says neurosurgeon Wojciech Maksymowicz – This is the case of just one patient. We need more statistics to be sure of the effects of the brain stimulator.
Tomasz was in a coma because of an accident he had in May. He fell off a three-metre-high wall trying to help his friend who had an epileptic attack. At first everything seemed fine, he even came home on foot. By the time he got there, there was a fist-size haematoma in his brain. The damage was so severe that at the beginning the doctors said there were no chance Tomasz would ever fully recover.
There were some signs of improvement observed among other patients. Some of them smile or express other emotions clearly visible on their faces, some of them can even focus their vision on a TV show.
First procedures in May
The first procedure of this kind for Poland was conducted in May by dr Maksymowicz’s team, under the direction of Japanese neurosurgeon prof. Isao Morita (he conducted 300 operations like that in Japan). The Polish surgeons carried out the procedures on their own. Tomasz was one of their patients.
In order to implant a brain stimulator surgeons need to open the spinal canal and put an electrode above the dura mater of the spinal cord. The stimulator is placed outside the body and it sends electricity to the electrode which is supposed to stimulate the brain stem.
The stimulator is connected to the electrode by a cord that runs under the skin. It sends an impulse to the brain every 15 min. The stimulated tissue gets more blood and is better nourished. Therefore neurons, which survived the accident, can function much better.
The stimulation of the brain is supposed to enable coma patients to regain consciousness.
Maybe there is hope for Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton…Maybe it can make her less corrupt?
Whoa, in all these years, Poland finally has its first patient! They must be a very healthy people.
Please read this story again. Tomasz was better off in a coma. He is now in hell 24×7. No wonder he is upset. What sort of person would turn an unconscious person into a conscious vegetable, and think that is a good thing?
Oh no! He might have to undergo rehabilitation and be miserable for a while, like every single neurological patient since the dawn of medicine!
At least he is conscious and can give his opinion on whether he wants to keep living. I can’t believe you would imply they shouldn’t have tried.
lol Harold…man, don’t reproduce.
I think This is Rally Amazing
this sounds like a reasonable common sense idea, if it works in other trials this will be a wonderful medical asset
This is awesome! Could we PLEASE stop calling coma patient in the US “brain dead” and harvesting their organs?
There is a huge difference between being brain dead and being in a coma…