No one wants to experience life with paralysis.
There are approximately 12,000 recorded cases of spinal cord injury in Australia, and each year there are 300 – 400 new incidents reported. Quadriplegia, paralysis of all four limbs, occurs in 50% of all these cases.
There is no known cure for a spinal cord injury. The impacts of spinal cord injury are usually lifelong and devastating. Young men in the prime of their life are most likely to sustain a spinal cord injury, being four times more likely to sustain spinal cord injuries than women.
Perry Cross is one such person whose life was unforeseeably and profoundly changed in an instant. In 1994, a devastating rugby union accident on the grounds of Ballymore in Queensland rendered Perry a C2 quadriplegic, unable to move from the neck down and unable to breathe without a mechanical ventilator attached to his electric wheelchair.
In spite of his injury, over the following two decades Perry has lived an extraordinary life, most notably in establishing the Perry Cross Spinal Research Foundation (PCSRF). PCSRF has one clear vision: to find a cure for paralysis.
The discovery of a cure is something that Perry Cross firmly believes will happen. It’s just a matter of when. PCSRF is currently funding the “Spinal Injury Project” at the Menzies Institute at Griffith University, with plans to undertake a clinical trial in the coming three years, to progress the journey towards a cure for paralysis.
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