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'Exoskeleton' Lets Some Paraplegics Walk Again

Gene Laureano, a 51-year-old Army veteran from the Bronx, uses the ReWalk exoskeleton. (Sacha Pfeiffer/WBUR)
Gene Laureano, a 51-year-old Army veteran from the Bronx, uses the ReWalk exoskeleton. (Sacha Pfeiffer/WBUR)

One of the great dreams of the medical research world is to help paralyzed people who are unable to use their legs, to be able to walk again.

Implanting electrode stimulators into injured spinal cords has shown some promise. Stem cell spinal cord regeneration has been elusive so far. But one Massachusetts tech company is taking a completely different approach.

ReWalk Robotics has built a motorized exoskeleton that gives some people with debilitating spinal injuries the ability to walk, and it’s the first such device to receive FDA approval.

Here & Now’s Sacha Pfeiffer met a 51-year-old Army veteran who’s been in a wheelchair ever since he fell during a welding job who is using the exoskeleton to get around.

  • Read more on this story via WBUR’s Radio Boston
  • Related: Getting Paraplegics Back On Their Feet
  • Reporter

  • Sacha Pfeiffer, senior reporter and host of WBUR’s All Things Considered, and a fill-in host for Here & Now. She tweets @SachaPfeiffer.
  • Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.