An American from Long Island found artificial intelligence to be a blessing in disguise. After a diving accident left him paralyzed, he was able to move and feel his body again, thanks to a surgery that connected his brain to a computer via microelectrode implants.
Keith Thomas, 45, is a pioneer patient for AI-infused surgery to treat or cure conditions like blindness, deafness, ALS, convulsions, cerebral palsy, and Parkinson’s, according to the New York Post.
According to Chad Bouton, a professor at Feinstein’s Institute of Bioelectronic Medicine, “This is the first time a paralyzed person is regaining movement and sensation by having their brain, body, and spinal cord electronically linked together. We could continue to assist millions of people worldwide, perhaps with a wider range of conditions.”
When Thomas dove into a friend’s pool in Montauk, New York, in 2020, he shattered his neck and sustained damage to some of his vertebrae. According to what was said, he was never to be able to move below his neck. He maintained his optimism, nevertheless. He told the Post, “I’m a true New Yorker and wanted everything done straight away.”
Thomas was a good candidate for the surgery because of his tenacity and love of life, according to Dr. Ashesh Mehta, director of the Institute’s Laboratory of Human Brain Mapping. As per the New York Post, Thomas underwent a 15-hour surgery during which he was conscious for a portion to converse with the medical staff.
“The procedure needed to go flawlessly. Error was not an option. There is only one proper way to do it, and a million ways it could go wrong,” Mehta continued. Since his injury, Thomas has been able to hold his sister’s hand after surgery and a one-week rehabilitation period.