Jim Moharter is now off the opioid medications he used to take after a bad wreck in 2003. It happened on Interstate 95 near Wilson.
"We got hit from behind and sent into another vehicle," he said. "Five cars tumbled, I ended up with a plate in my neck and injuries to my spine."
Today he can walk, unassisted.
"When he first came here, he was on high dose narcotics, he was in a wheelchair, he didn't walk," said Duke Dr. Aashish Kumar.
Moharter's mobility is powered by a device called a spinal cord stimulator. It's surgically implanted in his body and sends electrical impulses to his brain that interrupt pain signals.
"It's empowering. It's very empowering, psychologically and physically, to feel my body starting to change again," he said. "It's been more than a decade since I used that cane."
"He's not just relying on waiting for the device to allow him to walk and do all these things. He had the determination that in patients is needed, to get to the next level," Dr. Kumar said. "You have to have, or go to somebody that'll help you break that cycle. Otherwise you're just gonna continue on, and you're not gonna get the pain relief that you need. You're gonna continue to suffer from chronic pain, despite all these medications that you're on."
Moharter's very happy with the results of his device.
"Anybody twenty years ago who wanted to have pain relief didn't have the options they have now. These options are phenomenal. It truly is a godsend! I prayed, and I never dreamed, that I would have what I have now," he said.
He's so impressed by the treatment, he wants others to know there's pain relief available without the risks associated with opioid medication.