New hope for spinal cord injuries; AZ man sees progress after rare surgery

A Peoria man was the first person in the world to undergo a revolutionary type of surgery.

The surgery was about seven months ago, and since then, he's been seeing improvements.

He's also working to help future patients of this same type of surgery.

October 13 was the day that changed Jordan Fallis' life forever.

"I was just riding my dirt bike, went for a back flip, under-rotated it, and basically just scorpioned myself," said Fallis.

His spinal cord was severely injured, but Fallis said he was in the right place at the right time.

He was the very first patient in the world to undergo a revolutionary surgery from the doctors at Barrow Neurological Institute.

A small rice-shaped scaffolding made by a company called Invivo was implanted on his spinal cord. The hope is that the scaffolding will help his nerve endings regrow, and repair the damaged portion of his spinal cord.

"I know, I can't give you the exact percentages, but it is 90 percent of people with injuries as bad as mine don't have or don't get as much improvement as I have," he said.

In therapy, Fallis can move his legs and walk underwater.

"It's all progress; it's only been six and a half months, for how long it's been, I'm doing really well," said Fallis.

"As bad as this whole thing has been, it's opened up so many new doors," he said.

Recently, Fallis, along with others, started the Neuro Scaffold Foundation to help future patients financially and emotionally. He also recently struck up a close friendship with Jesi Stracham of North Carolina, the second person in the world to have this rare surgery.

"We can vent back and forth with each other about it, it makes it easier, it makes my day a lot easier to get through," said Fallis.

Fallis says he's looking forward to the future.

So, what is his hope?

"Just to be back on your feet, be back riding the bike," he said.

At the end of May, they are planning a fundraiser for their foundation.

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