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Thread: Paralyzed vet gets "robotic legs"

  1. #1

    Paralyzed vet gets "robotic legs"

    Patient becomes first in San Diego to get device, which allows walking, from VA

    By Jeanette Steele

    One minute, Lt. j.g. Brandon Myers was a hard-charging Navy officer gunning it through the Naval Special Warfare obstacle course in Coronado.

    The next minute, he was falling abruptly from a vertical cargo net. He hasn't felt his legs or pelvis since that hard landing.

    Now 28-year-old Myers is the first U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs patient in San Diego County to be issued a pair of robotic legs that allow him to walk fully upright again ? if only for a few hours a day.

    "The human body is meant to be erect. So being able to get back into that natural posture, it's pretty epic," Myers said this week.

    It's a happy collision of technology and medicine, mechanics and grit. In December 2015, the VA approved the issuance of an ?exoskeleton? for patients who qualify for it.

    It was a watershed moment for paralyzed veterans, as the $77,000 market price is out of range of most people.
    This exoskeleton is made by ReWalk Robotics, a company based in Massachusetts, Germany and Israel. The device was invented by an Israeli paraplegic and in 2014 was cleared by the Food and Drug Administration for marketing in America.

    A $116,000 donation by San Diego-based Guild Mortgage in December allowed the La Jolla VA to buy its first exoskeleton unit for local veterans to test out.

    Nationally, the VA had issued 14 ReWalk devices to patients by the end of 2016, said Larry Jasinski, company chief executive.

    See below for the rest of the story (front page 4/20/17, San Diego Union-Tribune)



  2. #2
    Now that the ReWalk is becoming more prevalent, I'm curious as to what the community's thoughts are on it (and other exos) these days. Anyone here have a personal unit they can talk about?

    Personally, I think the commercially available exoskeletons for people with paralysis have kinda missed the mark when it comes to user needs, but I'd like to know what others think.

  3. #3
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
    Vancouver WA USA - - Male T4 ASIA B incomplete
    I've been using a unit every other week for a couple of years.. I could never see taking one home, great for exercise. Pretty much need someone to spot you all the time, and help you don it.

    I do have an RGO at home that I would use on my own, but only in the house.

    Just putting the Rewalk on, on your own would be quite the ordeal. Never managed it.

    My fingers are crossed for the indigeo unit to take off, it has estim built-in so your muscles work in collaboration with the unit instead of against it.

    The machine does mess up. all seizes up etc. takes a couple of PT's to lay you down and get you out of it and then reset it etc. can't imagine what would happen if I was alone!

    I run the rewalk in collaboration with 2 WalkAides -

    That said.. I think we're getting real close.

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