Keith Thomas, who became paralyzed from the chest down after a pool accident three summers ago, has regained control over his hands through a groundbreaking medical study. Five small chips were implanted into his brain, allowing signals to be sent and interpreted between his brain, damaged spinal cord and hands. "We are literally pulsing very intense electrical patterns, but very briefly, that activates those circuits, those damaged circuits that are in his spinal cord and then we believe it's starting to strengthen those connections. There's a saying that neurons that fire together, wire together," said engineer Chad Bouton, who leads the Neural Bypass Lab in New York. Before the accident left him paralyzed at 42, the former finance professional had an active social life and his new reality was hard to face. But his sister, Michelle Bennett, was a constant source of support, and he is experiencing small victories, including being able to scratch his face. He hopes to be able to wipe away his tears in the future.

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