Local man first in drug trial for spinal cord injuries

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A terrible bike accident caused local triathlete, Allen Frye, to suffer a severe spinal cord injury.

He's the first in the world to try a medication to lessen the damage done and he is making remarkable progress at OSU Wexner Medical Center.

Allen hit a tree across a bike path at about 20 miles an hour while he was on a training ride six weeks ago. He received a severe injury, fracturing his cervical spine and suffering bruising, bleeding and swelling to his spinal cord.

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The neurosurgeon team realized Frye would be a perfect candidate for a new trial for a drug called Glyburide. It’s a diabetes medication found to have a side effect.

“It can reduce swelling and bleeding from tiny little vessels in the spinal cord,” said Dr. Francis Farhadi. “That bleeding actually causes severe worsening of the condition.”

Frye has made remarkable progress. He is standing, walking with assistance and regained movement in his limbs.

“I see this as training for the triathlon right now, I’m training to get back on the bike, back in the water, so yeah, I’m just pushing every day,” said Frye.

The doctors say, so far, Frye has had no adverse effects from the drug.