One of the hardest things for people who have suffered spinal cord injuries, is being told that they will never be able to walk again..
However, walking again for some of these people may actually be a real possibility. The ReWalk exoskeleton has just been approved by the FDA, which means that the device which has been used for years to aid paraplegics in rehabilitation centres in the US can be brought home.
Each ReWalk is tailor-made for each user and can be used both indoors and outdoors. Each device is made out of a metal frame and has motors that drive the movement and a backpack that supplies energy. It is operated by a wrist remote control, where users can control the sitting, standing or walking commands. While this device is certainly a life changer, there are a number of caveats: it costs €52,500 ($72,000), and can only be operated by someone who can already stand with assistance and use crutches. Another point to note is that people who have other neurological injuries, unhealed fractures, infections, circulatory conditions and heart and lung diseases will not qualify for the ReWalk.
For those who can though, this offers a great opportunity to be mobile again.