SCI Patient Testimonial – Joel Vander Molen

I received my C2/3 SCI early in life, 24 years before hearing of the Synapse Diaphragm Pacemaker.  After using a vent for over 25 years, completing grade school, high school, and college, I received my implant.

It has opened up a world of smelling sensations that I had hardly known before. Food has much more to experience than just the textures I knew before using my nose again. It has been less than five months since surgery and I’m up to 15 hours a day of pacing.

After a quarter century of just breathing out, this system is opening up a new world to me. Without having tubes on my chest and not hearing the constant noise from the ventilator, I feel much more like a person and less like a machine. I am looking forward to the changing seasons and smelling the new plants in spring and outdoor grills in summer.

My 26th anniversary of becoming a quadriplegic was spent mainly pacing, I guess an old quad can learn new tricks. I am looking forward to the coming months and years with new opportunities provided by Synapse.


Joel Vander Molen