Exoskeleton technology in use at Barrow Neurological Institute
PHOENIX (KSAZ) - At Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, there is a new medical marvel straight out of science fiction; exoskeletons.
It's a bionic suit, a wearable robot, and it helps people who cannot walk, walk again.
The exoskeleton has been tested in military use, to increase the strength of soldiers on the battlefield. But exoskeletons are also finding their way into leading hospitals to help patients literally get back on their feet.
Heather Sixta is wearing the new exoskeleton suit; they don't have one of those in Kansas where she is from. She came all the way to the valley for this state of the art medical rehabilitation marvel.
Bleeding in her brain caused Heather to almost completely lose the ability to move her left side. She had surgery at Barrow on September 1. Sensors in the wearable robot help move her legs for her, training her brain so she can take steps herself.
"It's been amazing, this hospital is amazing, and the people they have here," said Heather Sixta.
Eksos are super-high technology, and they are not cheap, costing $200,000. There are two of them in Arizona, and they are both at Barrow Neurological Institute.
"She has just made amazing progress and from someone who couldn't get out of bed, to someone who can bear weight, she has made a huge gain in rehab," said Dr. Christina Kwasnica.
Heather hopes to complete rehab and get back to job one, raising her three kids back home just outside Kansas City.