I Could See Drew Move His Legs. You Made This Possible.

Posted by Reeve Staff in Daily Dose on July 06, 2015 # Research

As a wife and a mother, your first instinct is to protect your family. But no matter how strong we were, nothing could have prepared us for what happened on September 6, 2006.Drew, my husband, was coming home from the gym when, out of nowhere, a car recklessly ran through an intersection and hit him head-on. The impact of the accident shattered Drew's spine at C6-C7, paralyzing him from the chest down. In an instant, our lives changed forever.

Please help families like mine by making your special gift to the Reeve Foundation online today.

There is a ripple effect when someone you love sustains a spinal cord injury -- everyone feels the impact and everyone has to navigate a new way forward.

Drew had to relearn how to keep his health in check. He also had to regain confidence in his role as a father and husband.

I had to understand the complications of spinal cord injury that went beyond mobility and how to juggle the roles of mother, caregiver and wife.

Our son learned early on to appreciate life, which led to a stronger, unbreakable bond with his dad.

Together, as a family, we figured out a new rhythm. Then -- again -- our lives changed, this time for the better thanks to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. Drew was approached by researchers to participate in a study that was potentially game-changing for individuals living with a spinal cord injury. It featured epidural stimulation -- a groundbreaking experimental therapy.

In the study, an epidural stimulator would be implanted in his lower back and act like a bridge between his brain and his injured spinal nerves. If successful, Drew could potentially regain some of the function he had lost. Even after Drew was enrolled in the program, I was hesitant to get my hopes up.

I will never forget the day that I saw firsthand the promise of epidural stimulation. Seeing Drew's legs respond when the stimulator was turned on was like a light switch being flipped.

With the stimulator on, Drew could stand! He could hold himself up! He could even move his legs and toes!

For the first time in a very long time, we had hope.

As a result of epidural stimulation, not only has Drew made huge strides, boosting his strength and confidence, but he also experienced wonderful and unexpected outcomes, including increased bowel and bladder function and improved blood pressure regulation.

My wonderful husband has shattered every expectation and has a renewed focus on his recovery. To our son, he's a superhero -- a real life Superman.

Thanks to the generosity of Reeve Foundation supporters, our lives have been transformed.

Please realize you are part of our incredible story and I cannot thank you enough for your support. I hope you will continue to advance this critical research by making a special gift to the Reeve Foundation today.

Right now, the Reeve Foundation is working to raise funds for the next phase of epidural stimulation research through an ambitious campaign called The Big Idea. This is an opportunity to change the world for more people and families who were told there was no hope for recovery. There's always hope -- we are living proof.

The lives you change and families you help will be forever grateful, like we are.

Sophorn and Drew Meas Sophorn Meas Sophorn Meas
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

Note: There are companies and clinics in other parts of the world that are falsely advertising epidural stimulation treatments and may pose a danger to the paralysis community. Please read the Reeve Foundation's statement on off-shore stimulation treatments.

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.