Derek Herrera ReWalk
Derek Herrera uses the ReWalk Exoskeleton (Courtesy of Derek Herrera)

Paralyzed Marine Walks Again with ReWalk Exoskeleton

The ReWalk Exoskeleton uses a computer-based control system and motion sensors to allow the user to initiate walking patterns.

Paralyzed from the chest down after being hit by a sniper’s bullet in Afghanistan in 2012, Marine Capt. Derek Herrera is walking again thanks to some incredible help.

The 30-year-old Herrera has been using the $69,500 ReWalk ExoSkeleton designed by Argo Medical Technologies Inc. in Israel, according to the Military Times.

… several times a week, the former lacrosse player and 2006 Naval Academy graduate wheels himself to the physical therapy room at 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion and straps on a set of robotic legs, an exoskeleton that allows him to stand, stroll and simply speak to others from the perspective he enjoyed for 28 years — 6 feet, 2 inches.

“When you are paralyzed, there’s the injury but there’s also secondary and tertiary complications from sitting in a wheelchair all day — circulation issues, loss of muscle mass, bone density,” Herrera told the Military Times. “Your body is not designed to sit. It’s designed to stand and move.”

The ReWalk system was cleared by the FDA on June 26 for home use, according to the ReWalk website.

ReWalk provides user-initiated mobility through the integration of a wearable brace support, a computer-based control system and motion sensors. The system allows independent, controlled walking while mimicking the natural gait patterns of the legs, similar to that of an able-bodied person.

See more on the ReWalk’s operational system in the video below.

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