New therapy machine helps patients learn to walk again - WNEM TV 5

New therapy machine helps patients learn to walk again

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

A Mid-Michigan hospital is debuting a therapeutic machine that is giving patients a new lease on life.

The device provides a combination of all around support and enhanced technology to help patients learn how to walk again.

One step for Loma Harris is actually one giant leap in her recovery.

"A lot has happened in a week," Harris said.

She entered the hospital for a routing, very minor, neck surgery when the unthinkable happened.

"When I woke up I didn't have feelings in my legs or my arms, which was kind of shocking," Harris said.

The diagnosis was nerve damage. Her place to turn was McLaren's new rehabilitation unit.

"They have just been so supportive and trying all different kinds of stuff to help me get back on my feet," Harris said.

One of the things they are trying out is the unit's new SafeGait therapy machine.

The system straps patients into a harness attached to a track on the ceiling.

Physical Therapist Deborah Reed said she has already seen its benefits.

"It's a great pair of hands and safe for us, as well as the patient," Reed said.

Part of the machine's safety features is it allows patients to work on their therapy without the fear of falling and it can detect falls.

SafeGait holds up to 50 percent of the patient's weight, making it easier for them to practice walking again.

In just one short week, Harris has progressed to only needing 15 percent help.

"My hope and my expectation for her is that she's going to get back to living her life as normal. I don't see her even needing a cane down the road," Reed said.

Harris said her hard work and positive attitude will be multiple steps in the right direction.

"I am hoping to get back to my full capacity and go on with my life," Harris said.

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