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Bionic robot suit helping paralyzed patients walk

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Center at Integris Health’s Southwest Medical Center unveiled a bionic robot suit that will help paralyzed Oklahomans stand up and walk.

There are only 10 other states in the U.S. that have this type of robotic technology.

Ekso is a robotic exoskeleton that is re-enabling the disabled.

“Imagine yourself in a wheelchair and you haven’t walked for six months or a year,”Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Medical Director Dr. Al Moorad said. “This is¬†tremendous. We want our patients who live in Oklahoma not to have to go to Houston or Denver or Chicago. We want them to stay here and now they can.”

Thanks to a generous donation from the Chickasaw Tribe, Integris Health will soon own an Ekso bionic suit.

“There really is something about being able to have a conversation with someone eye-to-eye. It’s like being my old self again. It’s truly amazing for me,” Ekso¬†ambassador Sarah Anderson said.

Ekso is forecasting hope for paraplegics like Anderson and others.

This generation of bionic robot is operated by a therapist.

The model that Integris is getting next month will be controlled by the patient.