Sometimes, finishing last is still a victory. Take the case of Claire Lomas who completed a half-marathon last weekend in England. She was 16-weeks pregnant at the time, but that’s not the newsworthy detail. She is also paralyzed below her chest, as the result of injuries she sustained when she was thrown from a horse in 2007. Yet she completed the course on her on two feet.
It took her five days to complete the 13.1 mile route, walking about 3 miles a day. This was made possible by an exoskeleton from ReWalk, a product that we have covered here in the past. The self-contained system includes a battery backpack to provide power. The exoskeleton sensors respond to shifting weight, and the system moves the various components in a way that mimics a normal walking gait. The wearer starts walking by leaning forward. The result is that paralyzed wearers can regain personal mobility without the need to rely solely on a wheelchair.
Technology is developing rapidly to compensate for physical impairments of many types, helping individuals live more comfortable and active lives.