During a visit to the James Haley VA Medical Center, we were introduced to a remarkable device that will one day change the lives of thousands of people who have lost the use of their legs.
The James Haley VA Medical Center is known for its treatment of polytrauma (multiple traumas), and recently completed construction of a new wing dedicated to spinal cord injury. During a brief tour by one of the physical therapists, we were shown a device called the eksoskeleton. The patient straps in, and with the help of computerized hydraulics, the eksoskeleton stands up. Or rather, the patient stands up and the eksoskeleton performs the function of extremities that no longer function.
As the therapist told me, “In ten years we will be talking about how basic this technology was.” But for now, it brings an opportunity to walk to those who cannot. One day, paraplegics will be walking among us, with refined exoskeletons underneath their clothing. Until then, veterans who have lost the use of their legs are offered hope for an exciting future, standing up on their own two feet.