“We got him signed up for a ski trip in Colorado, where one of his sisters lives,” Roush said. “At first he didn’t want to go. He was scared.”
Rose said he remembers getting out of the ski lift at the top.
“That was really the moment when the clouds parted,” Rose said. “I realized that there was a lot for me to do.”
Many people who are paralyzed go through years and years of depression. It’s natural to go through a period of grieving, but some reach acceptance sooner than others, Lee said.
“Certain types of people bounce back sooner,” Lee said. “People who get involved in activities early bounce back early.”
After the ski trip, Rose became active at the Milwaukee clinic. He piloted an Ekso suit when it was brought there for a demonstration. More recently, he trained at Ekso headquarters in California.
One day, with the suit on, he walked with a company physical therapist to a nearby commercial district. Rose said he and the therapist had fun seeing shoppers’ eyes widen.
“I told her we should take it to the RoboCop premiere,” Rose said, referring to the recently released film. “We’d definitely get on the red carpet.”
Rose said he learned quickly, but at the end of four or five hours in the suit he was mentally exhausted.
When someone is learning to use the device, a physical therapist controls it with what looks like a simple remote for a television. Eventually, the user takes control, pushing buttons on cuff crutches to make the legs swing. Experienced users learn to trigger each step by leaning forward and to one side to trigger the motors, which are wired to an on-board computer that analyzes signals from sensors to determine where the user’s legs, arms and center of gravity are.<< previous 1 2 3 4 5 next >>