Robotics Help The Paralyzed Stand And Regain Mobility

Some of the best work being done in robots to help disabled people is from Dr. Amit Goffer of the Technion University in Israel. 


ReWalk is a robotic battery-powered exoskeleton with motorized legs and hips that enable paraplegics to walk, turn, and even climb and descend stairs again–and is FDA cleared as of 2014. 


And UPnRIDE is a wheeled auto-balancing robotic device that enables quadriplegics to stand and be mobile. 


The inventor, Dr. Goffer, is himself paralyzed from the waist down due to an accident 20-years ago.


This has inspired him to create these absolutely amazing robotic devices to assist all disabled people who are wheelchair bound. 


Approximately 1% of the people are wheelchair bound that’s 70 million


And surely, many more especially in the developing world need wheelchairs and don’t have them.


So these amazing robotic devices have the incredible capacity to help so many people stand and regain their mobility and dignity again. 


These are nothing short of miraculous and a new beginning for so many people suffering from spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, palsy, strokes and more


Being able to stand again is not only psychology healthy and helpful for mobility, but it may aid in preventing secondary conditions that wheelchair-bound people can suffer, such as osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, loss of lean mass and difficulty with bowel and urinary functions.


ReWalk has also received approval for coverage from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for those qualifying and with spinal cord injuries. 


Hopefully, this is just the beginning for helping people around the world. Mobility is life! 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to The Times of Israel)

Disabled, Can You Imagine?

Disability
A very important article in the Wall Street Journal by Anthony Weller about what it’s like to Paralyzed From The Neck Down.



Weller has suffered for 10 years with primary progressive multiple sclerosis. 



He describes losing everything…from “incalculable personal pleasures” to being “totally helpless.”



And what’s more, you have to save your chips in asking others for things, because “you’d be asking the whole day.”



“Say goodbye to any sense of personal space, too”–in needing everything, you’re essentially left like an open book to everyone around you.



Here, I can’t help thinking about those moments of personal indignity–in caring for our own bodies–that even that someone else must be there for.



Then, there is the just sitting around and endless thinking…”There isn’t much else to do.”



I remember learning about some medieval torture methods and one involved lying a person down in the space cleaved into the stone face of the dungeon and there a person would essentially rot–not being able to move, sit or stand up, or even roll over. 



How long could a person last like that before completely losing their mind?  



While Weller says that he used to imagine being paralyzed as feeling like being “encased in stone,” but now he see it more that your limbs just ignore you, to me whether you are paralyzed in your own body or embedded in medieval stone, the challenges physically and mentally are as scary as anything that can be imagined. 



How do you keep your sanity, let alone any hope?



Weller says, you live in the past, “happiness isn’t is, but was, [and] you try not to contemplate the future too much.”



G-d should have infinite mercy on his creations and lift up the fallen, cure the sick, and release the innocent that are imprisoned…please, please, please let it be. Amen.



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Radiating Goodness

Radiating Goodness

So I met two amazing people today.

The first was a lady with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

She told me her story about how it was her 30-year anniversary this year. And she said she had been diagnosed with MS only one year after her wedding.

She almost cried when she told me that her husband had stayed with her all these years she was sick.

First, she had a nurse at home to care for her, and then when the demands were too much, she got into the nursing home and has been there since May, which she said wasn’t a long time and that it was good there.

Talking with her, I was amazed at how good an attitude she had for someone that had suffered so much and for so long. She was also an incredibly nice person and said how lovely some of the other patients looked today and that they should eat something to keep up their strength. This lady was truly inspiring.

The second lady I met was a private nurse for one of the elderly patients in the home.

She sat at lunch between the old lady she took care of and the other woman with MS.

Yet even though she was privately paid by the elderly lady, I was amazed that when she wasn’t caring for the old lady, she took the time and effort to care for the MS lady, whom she otherwise had nothing to do with.

In fact, she was alternating in feeding one and then the other. Also, making conversation with everyone else at the table asking how they were, taking pictures with her iPad mini (she found a place that sells them for only $79!) and saying how happy her patient was looking today and making her smile (even though the patient seemed unable to even speak).

It was truly amazing to see the caretaker generally caring for others, not just for the money or because it was her job, but rather because she could help and really wanted to.

I’ll tell you, there are still good people out there–some almost angels. And when you find them, it is a miraculous experience. You can almost see G-d in them. Like the physical world is just an illusion, but these eternal souls are what’s real–radiating goodness to every soul they touch. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)