Today was really great in Rehab. I started off the day walking on the Locomat!! This was the piece of equipment I have been wanting to get on since I heard of the machine. The Locomat is a robotic walking machine that costs more than most homes, or a really nice Ferrari! Only four hospitals in the U.S. have this unit and Shepherds has two of them! I was told that it NEVER happens that a patient is able to get into the unit that quickly. Others wait for weeks before they let them on the machine but my therapists wanted to me try and out. A spot became available at 8:00 AM so I was there bright and early ready to try out this new technology.
First they strapped me in a harness, which about squeezed the life out of me. I thought my kidneys and liver were shifted up into my lungs! They then rolled me up the incline and onto the treadmill. I hoist was lowered down and suspended me above the treadmill while the robotic legs moved in behind me and locked into place. Since this was the FIRST of my Locomat treatments they had to do A LOT of measuring to adjust the machine to my size and height. They programed it all in the computer so the next time they can just pull me up and it will automatically adjust to fit me.
Once in the Locomat they started walking my legs in the air. It was kind of funny looking! I kept making robot sounds like I was ROBOCOP, with each step! Once I got use to the movement they lowered my feet onto the treadmill. I WAS WALKING!!....Well......it LOOKED like I was walking. The robot was walking my legs but HEY, it looked just like OLD TIMES!
Next the operator wanted me to try to move my legs in the machine. The unit has sensors that can pick up any force I put through the machine and it has several computer screens that can chart my movements. The machine was picking up some movement. I was trying to walk myself along with the unit and it noticed some spikes on the graph. VAGUE spikes, please don't get the idea I was sprinting on the unit. However, the machines noticed I was helping....SOME!
We took pictures of me in the unit so enjoy! Im sure you are thinking....wow....that harness looks tight Brent? Well.....IT WAS!!
I had a great time with Rehab today and I look forward to the weeks ahead. Please stay posted to this blog as I will try to write on it every other day to keep everyone informed on my progress.
I have also heard GREAT news that researchers and scientist in Denver Colorado at the Craig Institute has found promising breakthroughs with paralysis!! This is the closest they have come and they BELIEVE they can reverse paralysis now. Dr. Davies has been leading the team and have been coming SO CLOSE. They know the stem cells are the key but did not know how to manipulate them to get the desired results. Well....They have FOUND the results they wanted and as of TODAY he is publishing his findings. This is looks very promising. I ask everyone to please pray for the doctors to find a cure for this terrible injury!
I continue to ask everyone for there prayers! This is HARD work but I know that with God's help and with all of your prayers we WILL see a miracle!
I LOVE YOU ALL,