Back in 2010, Ian Burkhart was a 19-year-old lacrosse player for Ohio University, celebrating the end of freshman year in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

 

 

But in a freak accident, he dove into the ocean, broke his neck on a sandbar he couldn't see, was paralyzed from the chest down, and has needed constant care ever since.

 

 

Now he's 23.  And two-and-a-half months ago, he let doctors at Ohio State University try an experimental treatment that could help paralyzed people use their limbs again . . . by using their MINDS.  It's called Neurobridge.  Here's how it works . . .

 

 

They implanted a computer chip into his brain that's connected to a port in his skull.  The port's connected to a computer so the chip can relay what he's thinking.  Then the computer decodes it, and sends signals to a series of electrodes on his arm.

 

 

The idea was that if Ian could focus on his hand clenching into a fist, he actually WOULD clench his fist.  But even his doctors didn't know if it would work . . . until last Wednesday when Ian gave it a test run.  And it DID work.

 

 

You can check out a video of it online.  Just search for "Paralyzed Man Moves His Hand." 

 

 

(CBS News / Washington Post