Robotic machine helps spinal cord injury patient relearn how to walk

WEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A special machine is helping a patient with a spinal cord injury get through rehab.

The portable machine called EksoGT has become a real game changer to help patients dealing with paralysis and is giving them hope to someday walk again.

Patient Jessica McNair suffered a stroke, which left her immobilized.

“Two years ago, I was unable to walk at all,” McNair said.

Now, thanks to the exoskeleton machine, it has allowed her to stand up and feel what it’s like to walk again.

EksoGT is a portable, adjustable robotic machine helping in the rehab game.

The machine, which is attached to your body, is designed to help patients with spinal cord injuries, paralysis and other neurological conditions to gain back some — if not all — motion in their bodies.

“I think it’s really inspiring because, it kind of, it instills what it felt like to walk normally again,” McNair said, “so it kind of forces me to think I can maybe walk normally again in the future.”

Doctors at the West Gables Rehabilitation Hospital in West Miami-Dade introduced the latest technology in hopes of giving patients a real fighting chance.

“For the last 14 years, we’ve been trying to set the standard for rehab in our community, and so far, I think we’ve been doing a pretty good job with amazing outcomes,” said Dr. Jose Vargas with West Gables Rehabilitation Hospital.

The machine also offers multiple features added for patients to access, which McNair says helps her relearn what she lost. She said it also serves as a real workout.

“With the leg, it’s really hard for me to lift it up. With the Ekso, it doesn’t do it for you, but it forces you to relearn the movement,” McNair said. “The Ekso doesn’t walk for me, which is a good thing; it works with what strength I have, so it’s hard work. It’s a workout.”

McNair works for Ekso Bionics, the company that invented the machine and said the possibilities for this new technology are endless.

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