For some it feels like a miracle — a robotic exoskeleton which can enable paralyzed people to walk is being considered by Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln.
Hospital spokeswoman Molly Nance says the machine-like braces can be attached to a person’s legs and enable them to stand and walk.
It’s designed for people who’ve had severe spinal cord injuries who otherwise would be confined to a wheelchair.
“You not only have that personal gratification of being able to do something again that you weren’t able to do, but there are documented health benefits,” Nance says. “When a person is able to stand up and walk, that improves their cardiovascular fitness, it improves their circulation, it helps with digestion.”
Nance says its use was demonstrated last week by a woman whose spine was severed in a car wreck seven years ago. The woman said she’s now walking in her dreams and “it means the world to her” to be able to look friends and family in the eyes.
The robotic-type machine isn’t cheap — the device may cost $100,000.