A majority of us that have sustained a spinal cord injury learn during our rehab stage how to use a wheelchair to continue to be mobile. Wheelchairs become a part of our life. We keep ourselves active everyday with hope of regaining movement of our legs, or participating in research studies that will lead to a cure. Research and technology has allowed scientists to develop new methods and equipment to provide quality of life to individuals with a spinal cord injury.
Although wheelchairs provide transportation and independence, wheelchairs also cause health complications to individuals with a spinal cord injury. Sitting in a wheelchair for long periods of time may cause skin breakdown, shoulder problems as well as bowel and bladder issues. Five years ago, scientists in Israel invented a device to enable paraplegics to walk again. The device is an exoskeleton robotic called the ReWalk. ReWalk is worn around the lower part of your body and mimics “the natural gait patterns of the legs”.
Jerrod Kerr, a paraplegic, was injured 2 years ago as a result of a car accident. When he was asked to try the ReWalk, Jerrod was ecstatic to try it. Jerrod said, “once I started walking, I mentally felt better, psychological feeling like I was walking on my own”. He noticed his bladder functions had improved, and believes that using the ReWalk system will “significantly help with walking when a cure is found”. Furthermore, he feels the technology will get better and assist with other technological advances. For more info on the ReWalk, visit their website: www.ReWalk.com