Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bionic Legs

"1, 2, 3 stand," said John Greer's physical therapist.

It's providing hope.

"In over 20 years I never walk and for the first hour I got up and walking it's pretty incredible," said John Greer.

We met John and his wife Chris Greer last November.

They are paraplegics raising an able-bodied child in Dylan.

Both were involved in traffic accidents as young adults.

John is a Castle High School graduate. He was 19 when the truck he was riding in flipped.

Chris is from the United Kingdom and was on the back of a motorcycle when it crashed. She suffered a broken back. She was 20.

They haven't walked since, until now.

"I'm always optimistic so I would think that one day I would bust out of these braces I'd be running and somebody will say run Forest run!" said John.

Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific is one of the 10 leading rehab hospitals in the country. It has partnered with Berkeley Bionics to conduct trials on eLEGS Pro, a wearable, battery-powered exoskeleton that allows wheelchair users to stand and walk.

"Within these four walls we have really one of the best rehab center in the world," said Berkeley Bionics CEO, Eythor Bender.

John and Chris were the first to try it.

"To actually move and take steps, yeah indescribable and it's been a long time since I've done that and it's almost like being a baby again when you retrain yourself," said Chris. "You know to shift your weight and starting all over again but amazing, amazing feeling."


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