Exoskeleton helps former soldier walk again

Toronto, Sep 20 (IANS) A former Canadian soldier who survived a debilitating brain injury while on duty in Afghanistan in 2006, can now walk again with the help of a exoskeleton customised by researchers at the Simon Fraser University (SFU).

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Exoskeletons are typically designed for those with spinal cord injuries as an assistive technology providing lower leg movement.

Trevor Greene, who was unable to talk and walk after the attack, demonstrated his progress on Thursday at the SFU’s Surrey campus.

Told he would never be able to walk again after the vicious axe attack nine years ago, Greene began working with Ryan D’Arcy, a neuroscientist and SFU professor, in 2009.

This is the first time exoskeleton technology has been used for a person with a brain injury, said Carolyn Sparrey, an assistant professor at the university.

Today, Greene is able to walk upright with assistance, outfitted with a custom-made exoskeleton from Israel-based company, ReWalk.

In the future he plans to walk unassisted. Ultimately, he says his goal is to make it to Everest base camp.

“Trevor has been extremely committed to his rehabilitation program,” D’Arcy said in a statement released by the university on Friday.

“This newest dimension in his rehabilitation, wearing exoskeletons to walk again, enables the university faculty members to track research milestones in a real-life scenario while making a positive impact on his life,” D’Arcy concluded

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