Horseback riding accident victim hopes to walk again

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 21, 2001

KITTS HILL – Ed Paige, the Lawrence County man injured during a May horseback riding accident, faces an uncertain future.

Saturday, July 21, 2001

KITTS HILL – Ed Paige, the Lawrence County man injured during a May horseback riding accident, faces an uncertain future.

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But his companion, Teddy Lancaster, says she hopes it can be one in which he can walk again.

The couple have found a Washington, D.C. doctor who thinks specialized surgery – that can only be performed outside the country – will help Paige regain sufficient motor function to be able to stand and walk.

"This way, he has many more possibilities and chances," Lancaster said.

Paige’s trauma began May 7 when he took a fall from a horse while riding near the couple’s farm in the Wayne National Forest. He suffered severe injuries, even though he was wearing a helmet, and was rescued by volunteer firefighters and the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department.

Now, Paige has been diagnosed as having a complete fracture of the T-5 and T-6 vertebra; is paralyzed from his sternum down, and has been told he will never walk again, Lancaster said.

Although many doctors in the United States won’t discuss spinal cord procedures being researched, there are techniques that carry the possibility of regaining sensations and use of limbs, she said.

"Dr. Carl Kao has been performing peripheral nerve tissue transplants from the patients’ leg to his spine with a great deal of success for many years," she said. "We contacted him for an evaluation. Dr. Kao feels he can help Ed so he will have surgery in Ecuador."

Paige is scheduled to fly to Quito on Aug. 14, but needs to raise at least $35,000, Lancaster said.

"It is a procedure that U.S. hospitals don’t want to have doctors do because insurance does not cover it and most people cannot afford it."

Also, Paige’s eight-week hospital stay has cost over $100,000. The couple have no insurance and, while Medicaid will pay for some of his bills, there is the cost of rehabilitation.

"Ed has always valued his freedom and privacy and would like to opt out of a lifetime of surveillance into his privacy," Lancaster said. "But that will be a thing of the past without help from private sources."

In other words, he will be restricted to his home and a wheelchair, dependent on food stamps and government relief, unless he receives help from donations, she said.

"This has devastated not only his life, but that of his family and friends," Lancaster said, adding the two are veteran endurance riders who compete across the country.

"Many others like Ed (through the help of friends and family) have raised the money to pay their bills by donations and other fund-raisers."

Donations can help him travel outside the U.S. for the one possibility of the one dream he has left – to walk again and be independent, she said.

Lancaster is urging people to consider donating or approaching businesses, clubs and organizations about donations and fund-raisers for Paige.

Donations can be made by mail to Lancaster, who will forward to checks to the couple’s attorney to hold in escrow. Donations can also be accepted by credit card, and soon through the Internet.

For information, contact Teddy Lancaster, 1348 Township Road 256, Kitts Hill, Ohio, 45645; 1-800-533-2327; e-mail:; Web site: