The locked-in boy and the brain experiment


Manage episode 305047137 series 1533409
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Erik Ramsey was seriously injured in a car crash when he was 16 years old. He became locked-in and lost all voluntary muscle function except for the ability to move his eyes up and down. His father Eddie, desperate to help his son communicate, reached out to neurologist and neuroscientist Dr Phil Kennedy. Phil was known for his pioneering work helping paralysed patients communicate again. His method was to implant electrodes in their brains that would transmit their thoughts to a computer. He started working with Erik and Eddie but eventually, in order to advance his research, Phil decided to experiment by implanting the same electrodes into his own, healthy brain. It was a drastic and controversial step - if the surgery on Phil's brain went wrong, he risked losing his ability to speak. Phil, Eddie and Erik are featured in the documentary, The Father of the Cyborgs. And Phil has written a book called Unlocking Erik. Get in touch: Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Maryam Maruf Picture: Phil Kennedy before his brain implant surgery Credit: Paul Powton

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