In his compelling and determined letters from China, David Landewee told Southeast Missourian readers about the surgery he hopes will help him regain movement in his legs, paralyzed in an accident.
The surgery performed in Beijing implanted 4,000 olfactory ensheathing glial cells collected from fetuses aborted during the second trimester of pregnancy. The OEG cell implant surgery is unavailable in the U.S.
The 42-year-old Landewee reportedly was an ideal candidate for the implants, but to prepare he had to have rods taken out of his back and scar tissue removed.
The son of retired Southeast Missourian advertising executive Irvin Landewee, David now is back home in the Kansas City area and just beginning the demanding regimen of therapy required for the surgery to produce the results he expects.
Already he has noticed improvements in his breathing and lung function. He can move muscles in his legs and abdomen he couldn't move after his accident, and he can almost do a solo sit-up.
His doctors in China told him to expect continued improvements over the next year and a half as new connections are being made in his spinal cord. He hopes to be able to walk again within a year.
If anyone has the resolve this will take, it's David Landewee.