In 1994, Khaldoon, a 17-year old honors student and swimming champion from Syria, suffered a spinal cord injury in a diving accident leaving him a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic (tetraplegic). 16 years later, he was implanted with the Avery Breathing Pacemaker and was pacing 24/7 less than one year post surgery. In 2015, after four years of continuous pacing, he reported no stimulation on the right side, “due to vigorous physiotherapy.”

In October 2016, after one and one half years of diaphragm inactivity, Khaldoon travelled to the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, UAE, and had his implants replaced. Within three months post-surgery, he returned to 24/7 pacing. Khaldoon says “Breathing using the pacer is considerably easier than before.” Using an eye-tracking mouse, he holds a full-time job as a server administrator and maintains and develops websites. Khaldoon currently lives in Sharjah, UAE and is now studying in a local university, sitting in a wheelchair for 12 hours a day, three days a week. The picture shows Khaldoon speaking in a conference.

The Avery Breathing Pacemaker is an implanted phrenic nerve or diaphragm stimulator. It consists of surgically implanted electrodes and receivers with an external transmitter and antennas. It can be implanted either cervically or thoracically using minimally-invasive techniques such as video-assisted (VATS) or thorascopic approaches.

The Avery Breathing Pacemaker is the only diaphragm pacing system to have full premarket approval (PMA) from the US FDA and CE Marking privileges under the European Active Implantable Medical Device Directive for adult and pediatric use.

In addition, using small implanted radiofrequency receivers rather than electrode wires that pass directly through the skin may decrease a patient’s risk of infection and ongoing wound care management issues.

Avery has been commercially distributing breathing pacemakers since the early 1970’s. Since then, more than 2,000 patients have been implanted in over 40 countries establishing an unsurpassed record of safety and reliability. Due to their high reliability and cost effectiveness, the Avery pacers are reimbursed by Medicare and most private and government insurance around the world.

To learn more about the benefits of the Avery pacers for those with a high spinal cord injury, central sleep apnea or diaphragm paralysis, please contact us by mail, phone or through our website.

Vent-Free Breathing

Adult Quadriplegia

Quadriplegia, also known as tetrapalegia, is the loss of voluntary movement and sensation in all four extremities, and usually results from a cervical spinal cord injury (SCI). Other conditions, such as a brain stem lesion or spinal meningitis, may also result in quadriplegia. After the patient is neurologically and orthopedically stable and cannot be weaned from mechanical ventilation, a diaphragm pacing system should be considered.