Thursday, April 27, 2017

Exoskeletons for Veterans

At the end of 2015, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs approved issuing ReWalk exoskeletons to certain paralyzed veterans.  So far 96 people have been identified as potential candidates for the ReWalk, but this article notes that it is possible that approximately 10,000 veterans could qualify to take an exoskeleton home.  

This is an exciting opportunity for those who are approved.  Having a ReWalk at home offers recipients the chance to improve their mobility and perhaps also their health, and possibly to avoid some of the many pitfalls that come with prolonged sitting.  It can mean progress towards recovery, or greater long-term wellness - more time out of the medical system and maybe even out in the community.  

It’s a small but hopefully meaningful way to help our veterans.  

Thursday, April 20, 2017

From the Third Dimension

Curious about three-dimensional printing?  3D printing has been an exciting development for many reasons, but here’s a very functional way to put a 3D printer to use: medical aids and orthotics.  The VA has begun to use the technology to design braces, splits, and assistive devices.  Printed titanium joints may be soon to come.  An industrial designer named Or Steiner has already drawn attention for creating lightweight KAFOs with a Stratasys 3D printing system - but he didn’t stop at the concept stage.  He actually printed personalized, functional bracing for a specific user.  If you weren't interested in 3D prints before, maybe this is a good incentive to learn more. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Stacey Kozel Sets Out Again

"From the Appalachian Trail to Pacific Crest, paralyzed Stacey Kozel defies the odds."  Great headline as Stacey Kozel begins hiking her way up the West Coast on the Pacific Crest Trail!  She's aiming to finish in September, almost a year after completing the Appalachian Trail.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Distracted Driving (Don't Do It)

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  If you've been following the news, then you may have heard that the deadly bus crash in Texas on March 29th was caused by a texting driver.  There are many victims of distracted driving (to name a few and to link to their stories: Xzavier Davis-Bilbo, Jacy Good, Pierre St. Brice).
It only takes an instant to have your life drastically changed by a distracted driver.  I was paralyzed almost four years ago by someone who wasn't watching the road and struck my family's car from behind.  Distracted driving is much more than a distraction to those who are affected by it.
Please don't text and drive - not just in April, but anytime.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Recovery Update/ Video

Stepping back again from research updates and the news . . .
Last year at this time I was recovering from a broken leg (not from a fall - a post for another time) and beginning to see some quadriceps return.  My newest video shows definite progress since then.  I'm using Allards modular braces, essentially Ankle-Foot Orthotics with a knee support on one side.  These are minimal knee braces.  I've also been able to raise the walker slightly.  Neither the lightweight bracing nor taller walker would have worked until recently.  Very good signs.
Oh - and in this video, I'm walking against a strong wind.  Not an easy task!