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Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network Becomes Third Health-Care Organization in U.S. to Have Ekso Exoskeleton
Date:3/14/2012

Allentown, Pa., March 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network (www.GoodShepherdRehab.org), an Allentown, Pennsylvania-based innovator in the rehabilitation of physical and cognitive disabilities, today received the third Ekso bionic exoskeleton in the United States. Ekso (formerly called eLEGS) is a wearable, bionic robot by Ekso Bionics (www.eksobionics.com) that allows those with lower-extremity paralysis or weakness to stand and walk.  

Ekso is a ready-to-wear, battery-powered exoskeleton that is strapped over the user's clothing with Velcro and clips. The combination of motors and sensors, along with patient assist with balance and body positioning, allow the user to walk over ground with an efficient reciprocal gait pattern. The device can be adjusted in a few minutes to fit most people weighing 220 pounds or less, and between 5'2" and 6'2".  

Good Shepherd purchased an Ekso and is using it in therapy for patients with spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis.  Good Shepherd's Ekso also will be available for "maintenance" use by patients who complete their therapy program.

For Kevin Oldt of Allentown and Justin Ubel of Pen Argyl, that means experiencing the simple joy of walking. Both Oldt and Ubel trialed the previous generation of Ekso (then eLEGS) when it was at Good Shepherd last May.

"I didn't remember how tall I am," said Oldt, 45, when he stood for the first time in the Ekso. Oldt's spinal cord injury occurred about 10 years ago during a snow-mobile accident. He has been preparing for the return of Ekso by keeping his upper body strong with regular gym workouts and stretching and moving in Good Shepherd's warm-water pool twice a week.

"I look forward to standing next to my girlfriend – looking at her eye-to-eye," says Ubel, 23, who is a paraplegic from a vehicle
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SOURCE Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network
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