Boat strike victim, Charlie was medically cleared to be released by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) after 14 months of rehabilitation at Gulf World Marine Institute. Charlie’s case is unique, initially the turtle was not moving its rear flippers which led us to believe that Charlie was going to be permanently paralyzed. Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center* has graciously allowed the use of their CT and MRI machines to assist Dr. Staggs in understanding Charlie’s condition. Dr. Staggs, GWMI Veterinarian, has found that despite severe trauma to the vertebra, miraculously Charlie has recovered movement and feeling of his hind flippers. Dr. Staggs is currently investigating the reason for this. These findings could potentially help doctors understand injuries of the spinal cord that were previously undetermined. Both western and eastern medicine practices were used in. The therapy regimen included cold laser therapy to reduce inflammation and the use of local beeswax donated by Tupelo Beekeepers Association to heel his carapace (top shell). The bone structure of the carapace is healed enough that he is medically cleared to be released. The external carapace will complete the healing process over time just like a human’s wound.

*Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center follows all federal, state and local laws to ensure proper cleaning and sterilization of medical equipment for the safety of human patients


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