OKC Mom Becomes Scientist To Help Daughter Walk Again
OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma City mom is getting national attention for an invention that could change the lives of thousands of people in pain.
And it all started with a personal tragedy. Her daughter was involved in a car crash.
It was a sight that would stop the heart of nearly every mother.
"I came up over the hill and she was [lying] alongside the road and there was nobody around her; and I thought she was gone," Shelly Henry recalled.
Fifteen-year-old Kara would survive the crash; however, doctors would give her only a 20 percent chance of walking again.
But even as Kara beat those odds, her mother was told she would only walk for 10 years before arthritis would put her back in a wheelchair.
"He was pretty much emphatic on: ‘get her to do what she wants in life now, because when she gets to that age she won't be able to walk'," Shelly said.
Having children was out of the question, and the pain was unbearable.
"I didn't think I was going to live," said Kara. "I didn't think…that I would be able to survive this pain."
It was a diagnosis Shelly was unwilling to accept. So this single mom became a chemical biologist.
One day while working at a clinic, she discovered the power of combining electrical stimulation and laser treatment.
"One day a lady that had a stroke came in and she was in horrible pain, and I ran out of time. I didn't have the four hours to spend so I put them all together and discovered it was really highly effective. Highly effective," Shelly said.
The idea of Neurolumen was born. It's a flexible wrap that combines LED, lasers and electrical stimulation in a portable device that patients can take home.
Kara, an always willing guinea pig, was her first success
"I fell asleep and slept for about three and a half days," she said.
It's now 11 years later and Kara shows no sign of needing a wheelchair as doctors warned.
And that diagnosis that Kara would never have children? She proved that wrong, too. She has a two year old daughter named Lilly.
Kara now knows firsthand the power of a mother's love.
Neurolumen has FDA approval and is available with a doctor's prescription. It's used to treat a variety of patients who suffer from pain.