Monday, July 23, 2018

"Followers" Feature

A development on layout: readers have asked if it is possible to become a follower of my blog.  I have just added a new feature that appears in the upper right-hand corner of the page.  Please consider becoming an official blog follower by clicking the "Followers" button that appears there.  Suggestions and comments are always welcome!

More about HAL

A few weeks ago I posted information on Cyberdine’s device HAL (the Hybrid Assistive Limb), which is being used in Seattle at Swedish Medical Center.  Thank you to Yoshi, who brought to my attention that the Brooks Cybernic Treatment Center in Jacksonville, FL uses HAL technology (click here to watch a short video on HAL in action there), and who also provided a helpful link to a more in-depth article about HAL.  In my mind, one of the greatest points about the device is something also noted by the article’s author, Elliot Gardner: “[T]he end-goal of HAL is that the technology is not needed at all — the aim for treatment is for there to be an increase in patients’ function without wearing the HAL exoskeleton, rather than having to rely on it.”
I'm legitimately excited to learn about this technology as it is developing and am pleased to see that is is becoming more available.  It represents a welcome attitude toward what can be accomplished after SCIs.  We’re not talking about a simple list of outcomes or limitations for what life “will be” post-SCI.  Instead, this is about improvement and challenging expectations.  Gardner’s explanation of the end-goal for HAL shows how the device is particularly geared in this direction. 
And that is indeed a huge stride forward for rehabilitation after spinal cord injuries.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Walking with KAFOs (Lauren Rose)

When I saw this video of Lauren Rose walking with KAFOs, it brought back a lot of memories of starting out with orthotics.  What Lauren is doing three years after her spinal cord injury is supposedly impossible.  SCIs aren't easy, spinal fusions aren't easy, and KAFOs aren't easy.  But if Lauren's progress doesn't speak for itself, here's a quote from her: "Being able to move, exercise, and be healthy is such a blessing.  Love the process and be grateful for every step along the way.  It's a slow process but quitting won't speed it up.  You have to believe in what you pray for." 
Although getting beyond locked-knee long-leg braces has been a difficult journey, it has been well worth it every step of the way.  I'm really glad that Lauren has not given up.  It is great to see that she is truly making progress and encouraging others to push forward, too. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Ongoing Recovery Story: Tony Davis

An encouraging story about athlete Tony Davis, who suffered a spinal cord injury in 2005.  He's not only walking, but is back to pitching for his baseball team. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018