WTEN: New Technology Helps Paralyzed Man Walk Again

Cono Cirone, a physical therapist at Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital, was featured in WTEN’s story about a local man who is learning to walk again after he was paralyzed in a construction accident.

Douglas Avreu, originally from Brazil, was building a wall last year at a construction site when he fell from the third floor and suffered a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

In October, Cirone and his team at Sunnyview introduced Avreu to the ReWalk Personal Robotic Exoskeleton. The device sends signals to motors located at the patient’s hips and knees to control movements and help them walk again.

From the story:

“In about 20 to 30 sessions of using the machine, he became completely proficient and independent at being able to walk with it, to stand with it, to use it to walk outside, inside, use it in the grass,” Sunnyview physical therapist Cono Cirone said. “We walked up and down the hill.”

“The device obviously gives individuals with spinal cord injury kind of a new lease on life, I like to say,” ReWalk Robotics Business Development Manager Lauren Pelttier said. “It allows them to be upright and ambulatory both at home and out in the community. It’s not only for the health benefits but also being at eye level and the confidence again and the quality of life that able bodied people sometimes take for granted.”

Doug was identified as a perfect candidate for home use, and Tuesday, he took one home.

“It’s very exciting because when I was in the hospital, they said maybe you won’t walk again, and now, I’m able to see my legs moving, and it’s amazing,” he said.

Click here to watch WTEN’s report.

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