We were struck by a story we saw in The Los Angeles Times about a paralyzed Marine who used a robotic exoskeleton to walk during a Bronze Star ceremony at Camp Pendleton last Friday, and we just knew we had to share it with our readers.
Capt. Derek Herrera was injured in June 2012 while serving as a commander in the Helmand province in Afghanistan, according to DVIDS News. He was hit by enemy sniper fire, which paralyzed him from the chest down. He vowed to walk at the Bronze Star ceremony and turned to the ReWalk system to help fulfill his promise, The Associated Press reported.
ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to helped paralyzed individuals walk. Approved by the FDA for home use last June, Capt. Herrera became the first person to purchase the ReWalk in the U.S., according to The Associated Press report.
ReWalk says clinical studies of their system “show significant health benefits to the user, on both a physiological and psychological level.”
“If you don’t do something for weeks and months on end you start to forget what it is like,” Capt. Herrera told DVIDS News. “I forgot what it was like to stand and to take steps and to walk, so being able to do that with this device was incredible.”
Top photo credit: U.S. Marines