|Dr. Les Neville (photo taken 6/2011)|
Those of you who have just started following this journey probably don't know much of what it is about. Pictured above is Les Neville, a dear friend who had a near-fatal car accident on 2/13/12. He was in a coma for several months, and was supposed to die numerous times. He pulled through, and has been in a nursing home near Charleston since July of 2012. Physically, all of the broken bones are long healed, but in the accident he sustained a head injury that caused severe brain damage.
My present journey is to set up a bicycle trip to commence in a couple of years that will be a fund-raiser for a new medical technique that is showing dramatic results in the areas of traumatic brain injury and stroke recovery as well as curing epilepsy and some other conditions that result from incorrect neural pathways between the lobes in the brain. The new technique came about as an accidental breakthrough discovery by a research lab, and top doctors and scientists are working to bring this to the mainstream. I have written several articles on the issue - to learn more about the clinic click Here. Dr. Turner and his staff of 11 have just finished opening up the clinic, and Les is one of the first patients.
Today was Les's first visit to the clinic, and it was a crucial one as a brain map needed to be done this week so that Dr. Turner and another Dr. who is visiting Charleston next week can collaborate to develop a plan of action. Issues developed with the transportation arrangements that the nursing home was going to provide, so today I drove back to Charleston to transport Les to this first appointment.
Tom Smith and Les Neville
Tom Smith is a good friend who has been going to the nursing home every Sunday and reading to Les for quite some time. Tom met me at the nursing home this morning and we took the time to explain to Les what was going on so that he would not be defensive. We then loaded him up in my van and got him to the clinic.
If you enjoy science, you will find this technique fascinating. To make a long story short, a researcher was experimenting with cats to get them to manipulate their brain waves in order to get food. Later, he was approached to do an experiment for NASA who was trying to understand why people who worked around rocket fuel were having seizures. He used cats to experiment, but found that a few cats could tolerate many times the volume of exposure to the fuel before having seizures than others. It turned out that training the brain inhibited seizures, and that was the beginning of Neuro-Feedback.
With the advent of improved computers and more sensitive sensors, much more of the brain's activity can be seen. This information is developed into a "brain map" that shows the specific connections and network operations in a patient. Data bases of thousands of "normal" brains have been developed and a patient's data is compared to these.
Then, by using visual and audio stimuli, the brain is enticed to use the sub-standard areas in a proper manner. The brain wants to heal, and the enticement develops new neural pathways. I have over-simplified the whole matter, but the results are amazing. 80% dramatic improvement rate in epilepsy patients when there has NEVER been a cure for epilepsy. So, it is the hope that this technique can be used to help those who have brain damage re-establish proper functionality. Dr. Turner is tilling new ground with Les, and I am hopeful, but am not developing expectations. Les was once regarded as one of the best cosmetic dentists in the state of South Carolina, and it is painful to see him in his current condition.
After being confined to the nursing home for so long, Les was understandably nervous. But Brittaine was a steady and calming influence that made Les feel at home as she took his vitals and handled the preliminaries. As a matter of coincidence, she remembered Les from two years ago when he was in the Surgical Trauma Intensive Care Unit at the Medical University of South Carolina. She remembered the patient whose brain waves showed no chance that he was going to live - and pulled through anyway.
Dr. "Rusty" Turner
Rusty took the time to explain to Les exactly what was going going to happen, and then it was off to be hooked up with the equipment that would read and record his brain wave activity.
Someone needs to tell Rusty that a propellor would look great on the top of that QEEG cap. Anyway, after a couple of hours at the clinic it was back to the nursing home where a couple of the nurses helped me unload him.
Then I headed back to Georgia, where I am sure we will have some more great stories coming. As to Les, it hurts to see a man that was so talented unable to care for even his own basic needs. But, if there is anyone and anything that can make a difference, I know in my heart it is Rusty and the awesome staff at Network Neurology. It was Les's accident that led me to meet Dr. Turner at MUSC and start this whole journey to begin with, so I am very hopeful that the brain map shows that the injuries sustained are of the type that can be healed with this method of treatment.
So, I will leave you with what was Les's favorite photo that I had taken. It was printed on canvas and framed on his wall before the accident, and was taken one evening while we were walking and talking on Isle of Palms SC in 2011.
All have a great Thursday !!
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