Ian Burkhart sustained a spinal cord injury in 2010 on a beach vacation celebrating the end of his freshman year of college. After learning his diagnosis of quadriplegia and undergoing intensive rehabilitation, he was ready to rebuild his life.
Since then Ian has participated in a neural bridging research study by having brain implant surgery performed by Dr. Ali Rezai in the clinical trial Reanimation in Tetraplegia. Conducted by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and the Battelle Memorial Institute, this groundbreaking work enables Ian to move his paralyzed limb using a brain-computer interface.
Ian is currently pursuing a business degree at The Ohio State University. He was a high school lacrosse coach at his Alma Mater for 7 years and now serves in a variety of organizations. As a part of his commitment to make life easier for individuals with spinal cord injuries, in 2017 he created the Ian Burkhart Foundation, which is dedicated to restoring lives and providing hope to individuals with spinal cord injuries.
Ian is a Christopher Reeve Foundation peer mentor and advocates for legislation to fund spinal cord injury research in the state of Ohio. He is also a national public speaker sharing his story of hope, perseverance, and triumph through tragedy.
Ian’s mother, Terre Burkhart, knew little of spinal cord injuries when Ian had his accident despite having a cervical spinal fusion herself a decade earlier. She is an advocate for Ian’s medical needs and has supported his journey for independence and participation in clinical trials.
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