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Local firefighter living with pain

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Updated: 10/12/2009 11:13 pm
PONTE VEDRA, Fla. -- A local firefighter, hit riding his bike three years ago is still living with the pain everyday.

Now, instead of taking all kinds of medications, he's using technology to ease the pain. Zac Cover was in excruciating pain and all doctors at the Mayo Clinic had to do was take this small little battery, and put it in his back, and the pain was gone.

"I was heading home and had a car swerve in front of me and hit me head on, on my bike," said Cover.

His bike was smashed and his injuries were extensive. "I broke all of the ribs on my left side, split my leg open, fractured my wrist in four places and my lung collapsed," said Cover.

Cover was in rough shape. The crash happened three years ago. Cover was doing what he loved, riding his bike, training for Ironman. He actually keeps what's left of that bike in a frame on his wall at home. Despite all the injuries, Cover was determined to start running and riding his bike again.

He uses a spinal cord stimulator. There's a little battery in Cover's back. He controls it, by using a patient programmer. "It actually tricks the brain into feeling that massaging sensation, instead of the pain," said Cover.

Pain that used to knock him out after just a short conversation or walk with someone. Now, Cover's just glad he's not on all the medications and hopes to get back to his job as a firefighter and start training for marathons.

"It's been slow getting back into doing those types of things, hopefully I'll get back into doing it again," said Cover.

Approximately 60,000 people around the world are using these kind of devices. It can be done right here at the Mayo Clinic.
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