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Video: Paralyzed From the Chest Down, Triathlete Takes Second in the Handcycle Division of the Ford Ironman World Championship
Date:12/12/2008

MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 12 /PRNewswire/ --Crossing the finish line in second place at the 2008 Ford Ironman Triathlon World Championship is a dream that almost didn't come true for 34 year-old Jason Fowler, who was one of five wheelchair qualifiers. Jason completed the triathlon, which involved a 2.4-mile swim in the Pacific Ocean, using only his arms, a 112-mile bike ride through lava fields using a handcycle and a 26.2 mile run that Jason completed in a racing wheelchair in 90 degree heat.

To view the Multimedia News Release, go to: http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/itbtherapy/35345/

"I wanted to push myself to the max, and I figured the Ironman championship is the biggest challenge of all," said Fowler. "My goal was to finish the race. Placing second in my division was really icing on the cake."

An athlete all his life, Jason's competitive career nearly came to a halt when he was involved in a devastating accident during a motocross training run at age 17. Jason struck a rock with his motorcycle and landed on his head, severing his spinal cord and leaving him paralyzed below the chest.

In addition to losing use of his lower body, he suffered from severe spasticity andpainful muscle spasms in his back and legs. His spasms were so severe that he would be thrown backward out of his wheelchair and even dislocated his hip. After consulting with a neurosurgeon about his treatment options and undergoing screening and dosing tests, Jason opted for a surgical procedure to receive Medtronic ITB Therapy(SM) (Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy) in December 1991 as part of a clinical study.

ITB Therapy delivers a liquid form of baclofen, a medication that treats severe spasticity, through a programmable pump that is surgically placed under the skin of the abdomen. The pump is connected to
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SOURCE Medtronic, Inc.
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