Doctor: Patients with similar injuries to Paul Williams have walked again

Former world welterweight champion Paul Williams did not severe his spine as first feared in the motorcycle accident that has left him paralysed from the waist down in Marrieta, Georgia at the end of last month.

Dr. Donald P. Leslie, who performed an operation on Williams days after the crash to fuse his spine and protect it from further damage, spoke at a news conference in Shepard, where the fighter is being treated and said it is too early to say if ‘The Punisher’ will walk again.

“I can’t give you odds,” the doctor said according to Sports Illustrated. “Unless he recovers some of the nervous energy that gives the lower extremity muscles the ability to contract and support him, he would not walk.

“It may be days to weeks before we’ll have a better idea whether he’ll be walking again. Whether he does, or whether he won’t, he will be independent when he leaves here. We’ve had patients who’ve had similar injuries to Mr. Williams’ who have walked.”

On the procedure performed on Williams, Leslie added: “There’s no evidence of any severing; he had a fracture of his spine. The fracture is of the bone. The bone encircles the spinal cord. The spinal cord was injured and that interferes with the transmission of nerves from above to below.

“He is injured at the mid-chest level, the mid-thorax, and was stabilized with instrumentation. His spine was fused,” he added.

The 30 year-old will now spend up to a month getting further treatment for his injuries before he can think about being discharged, but according his manager George Peterson, has already asked for a mitt-man to come and let him work-out on the pads.