Rehab center using technology to help paralyzed people walk again
Updated On: Mar 14 2012 04:37:00 PM CDT
The impossible is now possible at Good Shepherd in Allentown.
The rehabilitation center is one of only a few across the country to scoop up technology that's helping some patients walk for the first time in years.
"It feels great. I mean it's awesome to be able to walk again," said Jesse Shively, who took her first steps in more than two years after a paralyzing car accident.
Ekso, formerly eLEGS, is a bionic exoskeleton walking system that made Shively's first steps possible.
"Going to be able to offer as part of therapy," said Sue Golden, of Good Shepherd. "People can now get up and learn to walk with it."
About a year ago, during a demonstration, 69 News witnessed the emotional power the legs could give as Ally Armstrong, 18, took her first steps after being paralyzed in a snow tubing accident.
This week, Good Shepherd became one of three hospitals nationwide to own the Ekso bionic exoskeleton.
For Kevin Oldt, of Alburtis, Lehigh Co., who got a taste of the legs last year, it's sanity-saving therapy.
"Last yearm first time in 9 years. Now 12-13 months later standing again," said Oldt.
Patients are evaluated, measured, and stretched. The legs are then adjusted to each patient's frame.
"Feels like something completely new again," said Shively. "Cause used to sitting in a chair all day long, nice to get out and stretch out again."
The California-based company that makes the product hopes to eventually have an in-home model, but for now, those like Shively will have to settle for getting sore in public.
"They can tell been used. It's a good feeling because it doesn't happen very often," Shively said.
Copyright 2012 WFMZ. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Police chief's son arrested after allegedly pointing gun at detectives
Bucks County teens killed in Wayne County accident
Two killed in accident early Sunday in Carbon County
Police: Man physically assaulted nephew for 'hugging dog too hard'
Barn Fire Reported in Upper Bern Township
Fire causes evacuations at Pen Argyl apartment building
Neighbor: 118 animals in shed should have been rescued a long time ago
Humidity returns for the Labor Day weekend
Neighbors in Easton react to recent shooting
What's impact of 'Ice Bucket Challenge' on ALS?