posted on August 01, 2012 14:07
The 16th annual Ricky Palermo spinal injury golf tournament will be kicking off this weekend and event organizer Ricky Palermo received some very exciting news this week.
But, first we’ll start with a little background information. In 1981 a 21-year old Ricky Palermo was injured in a car accident on the way back from a hunting trip.
It was an accident that dislocated his spine and left him paralyzed from the chest down.
During that time there was little known about what to do with spinal injuries.
Palermo said it wasn’t until 1985 when Miami Dolphins hall of famer Nick Bouniconti’s son Marc was injured playing football that spinal research began.
“To be honest with you when I first got injured I didn’t want to be bothered by anybody I just wanted to hide, it’s a weird feeling you don’t know which direction your feelings are going to take you. I wanted to sleep you know I didn’t want to do nothing but a leave me alone type of thing then after I saw Mark get injured we were watching the news and we looked at each other and said it’s unfortunate but maybe now we’ll see something get done,” said Palermo.
Palermo said he is amazed how far spinal research has come. He references the cooling method that doctors used on Buffalo Bill Kevin Everett after he was told he would never walk again and his injuries was life threatening.
“It’s really encouraging to see what’s going on, big difference from then to now. Now the doctors are looking me in the eye and saying he’s doing this over here and over there and back then they were like people are living eight to ten years,” said Palermo.
Palermo said he’s been keep in shape using a bicycle specifically crafted for those who were injured. He says he wants to be ready for the day the F.D.A approves spinal injury testing on humans.
“Anyone can roll there wheel chair up to it and ride from their wheelchair, they don’t have to be transferred, it’s really a big benefit, it’s pretty incredible,” said Palermo.
When WBTA first interviewed Palermo on Monday the F.D.A had not approved testing, but Tuesday morning he received some good news. They gave the Miami Project, a group working to cure paralysis, the go ahead to test on humans.
“I’m very excited about being involved, I fortunately Iknow that the way things work I know its not going to be today or tomorrow, I have to stay in shape I have to be ready for when they are ready for me,” Palermo.
The Ricky Palermo Spinal Injury tournament will kick off this weekend starting with a sporting workshop for kids on Friday, August 3rd and the golf tournament, raffles, giveaways and dinner will take place on Saturday, August 4th with the all the proceeds going to Spinal Injury research and other related projects.