Recently, the Orlando VA Health Care System (OVAHCS) received a life changing state-of-the-art donation from Dick and Betsy DeVos of the Family Foundation and Soldier Strong that helps Veterans gain their independence again.
For Air Force Veteran Brady Atomos, the exoskeleton (robotic suit) provides a powerful benefit to his rehab appointments.
“The exoskeleton has given me the ability to bring physical therapy into my everyday life on my own terms,” said Atomos. “It's allowed me to stand and take steps again, and although it may not be the cure for paralysis, it gives me the opportunity to stay healthy enough to handle the stress of standing and walking (if that day should ever come),” said Atomos.
The exoskeleton is the first of its kind at the OVAHCS to begin Indego Therapy. Indego Therapy is a lower-limb-powered exoskeleton that enables therapists to deliver task-specific, over-ground and individualized gait training. The indigo exo-suits allows Veterans with a spinal injury a whole new level of functional independence and mobility.
“This machine can assist many people who have had medical misfortune interfere with their ability to walk,” said Atomos. “From complete spinal injuries like mine, to stroke victims that are left with weakness in their lower extremities, this device assists us in training both our bones and muscles to move and support weight again.”
Local Veterans now have improved access to excellent therapeutic interventions for their neurologic conditions explains OVAHCS Physical Therapist, Nilda Watts.
“This donation may be new but will have life changing impacts across the board, said Watts. “The heroic service of our country's Veterans often includes life-long sacrifices related to their physical and mental health. This revolutionary technology provides fulfillment and restores joy to Veterans by allowing them reap the physical and emotional benefits of completing everyday activities that we take for granted.’’
Family Foundation and SoldierStrong feel privileged to be able to provide this equipment to Veterans receiving their health care at the OVAHCS.
“We are humbled to be able to provide a SoldierSuit and BraveMind system to the Orlando VA and are deeply grateful for everything Veterans have done to protect and uphold America's freedom," said Dick and Betsy Devos.
OVAHCS Chief of Staff, Dr. Lisa Zacher aided in the facilitation of the donation and explains that the OVAHCS is grateful for the generosity and commitment of donors who enable the OVAHCS to provide Veterans access to state-of-the-art advanced services and cutting-edge technologies.
“It was a joy to work with Family Foundation and SoldierStrong to get this needed piece of technology for Veterans impacted by injuries that have caused them to be paralyzed,” said Zacher. “The exoskeleton greatly enhances the way we are able to provide needed physical therapy services to Veterans challenged with spinal cord injuries and ultimately improve independence.”