Monmouth County Medical Center doctors perform rare surgery to reverse paralysis

(01/08/05) LONG BRANCH - A rare medical transplant performed at Monmouth County Medical Center in Long Branch is giving hope to a young man who is partially paralyzed.

Doctors at the hospital are attempting to reverse the paralysis in the arm of 21-year-old Dylan Brigham of New London, Connecticut. A motorcycle accident more than a year ago left his arm paralyzed.

The eight-hour transplant surgery involved removing healthy nerves from both Dylan and his mother Maureen's legs. The healthy nerves were then inserted into Dylan's body. The doctors have performed the surgery just five times before, but it has been a proven success. They say it will be at least six months before Dylan knows if his surgery was a success. According to the surgeons, performing the surgery soon after an accident increases its success rate.

Physicians say there was very little pain for the donor in the surgery, and the only requirement for a match is that the donor and the patient share they same blood type.

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