Robot Helps Paralyzed Patients Walk Again

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– Craig Hospital has unveiled a device to help paralyzed patients walk again. The rehabilitation hospital in Englewood is the first center to buy the robot.

James Nall is back on his feet, 18 months after being paralyzed when he fell down stairs.

“It’s amazing what people have came up with and put together here,” was his reaction to the robot.

He’s walking with the help of the therapists, a walker and Ekso, a ready-to-wear robot.

The Ekso is battery powered and remote controlled. It bends his legs at the knee and makes his feet move forward.

“It’s just kind of like re-training your body and this is definitely one thing that is highly beneficial to that,” Null explains.

At a cost of $125,000, the Ekso is an investment in innovation.

Craig therapists say the technology is very much in its infancy but say it’s very exciting.

CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh stepped into the Ekso and called it a strange sensation.

But for paralysis patients like Nall, the Ekso is a major step toward walking again, slowing moving from the robot plus a walker then to crutches then finally just with Ekso.

Therapists also hope the technology will evolve as well so that it becomes easy to use at home so patient could just get up and put it on.

That gives plenty of hope to Nall.

“I will walk. It will happen. It doesn’t matter what it takes.”

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