In 2016, Niki, a young Hungarian 21 year old woman became a quadriplegic patient after a serious motorbike accident. The CT and MRI imaging confirmed the fracture of the C II vertebra with the compression of the spinal cord. After the stabilization of the cervical vertebra, a tracheotomy was performed.
10 months later, her hemodynamic state was stable, the oxygenation was excellent, although she needed ventilation support. Using an eye control computer, she was able to communicate with her family and friends visiting online surfaces. Twelve months to the day of the accident, she was implanted with the Avery diaphragm pacemaker in Uppsala, Sweden.
In Hungary, the rehabilitation for the tetraplegic persons requiring ventilatory support was not available. As a result, Niki spent 1.5 years in intensive care unit. Niki’s main and final purpose was to leave the intensive care unit, return to her home and her family. To achieve this she was ready to learn using her remaining abilities. She also knew that the Avery diaphragm pacemaker could improve her quality of life and increase her mobility.
Niki says, ’if anything happens to me, I am stronger than ever and my dream is to open a new Centre in Hungary to inspire children and their families to continue fighting after suffering a catastrophic injury.”
She started a foundation to support and inspire people. (Never give Up!) Nowadays she is the only one adult high SCI patient, who is using diaphragm pacemaker in Hungary.
The Avery Diaphragm 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 thoracoscopic approaches.
The Avery Diaphragm 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 Diaphragm 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.
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.