A crucial piece of equipment that David desperately needs is the FES bike.
A bike of this type is particularly recommended for people with spinal cord injury because it stimulates the muscles of the legs and helps to reduce spasms, improves circulation and keeps the muscles from atrophying. FES bikes that exercise the arms are also available.
Here’s how the FES or Functional Electrical Stimulation bike works: Electrical stimulation is applied to the front and back muscles of the thighs (quadriceps and hamstrings), and the muscles on the front of the calves that are just outside of the tibia or leg bone (anterior tibialis), as the legs are being moved by motorized pedals.
FES biking requires a doctor’s prescription. David’s doctor at Shepherd Center in Atlanta is so sure it will help him that he has given him the prescription. Unfortunately, the therapy department at Cheshire Medical Center where David is currently getting therapy doesn’t have an FES bike. The next step is to raise the money so that David can get one of his own.
An FES bike is very expensive and is well out of the family’s reach without help. Such a bike costs in the range of $15,000, but it will make a very big difference in David’s life.