In the inspiring documentary A Spark of Nerve, producer Linda Schaller is given rare access to the groundbreaking work of Dr. Susan E. Mackinnon. The first woman to receive the American College of Surgeons Innovation Award, Dr. Mackinnon is restoring movement to limbs that many doctors believe to be permanently paralyzed. It’s not science fiction! With a pioneering technique called nerve transfer surgery, patients are rewired with their own redundant nerves, retraining the brain to move lifeless muscles.
The film follows the charismatic Dr. Mackinnon and her patients from the exam room to the operating room as their extraordinary stories unfold. Loren was 15 when she was brutally stabbed, severing the nerves in her neck. Michael suffered a freak chainsaw accident, while Chelsey survived a horrific car wreck. As a quadriplegic, Tom no longer had use of his hands. Follow their emotional journeys from trauma and disappointment to hope and finally joy as movement is slowly regained.
Also, visit the Walter Reed Peripheral Clinic to learn how nerve transfer surgery is being used to help our Wounded Warriors. A Spark of Nerve is a remarkable story of life-changing innovation and personal triumph.
On CPTV Spirit: Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at 9 p.m.; Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at 4 p.m.; Thursday, May 9, 2019 at 8 a.m.; Friday, May 10, 2019 at 1 a.m.
“Women's Work” features the stories of Connecticut women serving as leaders, trailblazers, artists, educators, advocates and entrepreneurs. Watch the original TV documentary. Six additional short films will be released weekly - watch them here.