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Cutting Edge Innovation Helps The Paralyzed Walk
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Story By: Larry Stine



  Originally Published on: 11/17/2013

Making the seemingly impossible possible. New technology created in Israel is allowing people who have never walked before, the ability to do so. CNN's Sara Sidner has the story. It is nothing short of amazing that Inbal Pesaro is walking, as until six months ago, she had spent her life in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the waist down. "I wasn't in a car accident or injured in the Army or anything," she says. "I was born with a disability, which means in a way that I've never walked before. I've never felt the feeling of how it is to really walk like "normal" people do." She is able to walk with the assistance of this cutting edge Israeli innovation. It is called ReWalk Exoskeleton: It uses sensors, motorized joints, a battery pack and braces to allow paraplegics to stand up and walk. "When my mom comes back from a long day and she only wants to lay down and lift her legs up because her feet hurt I can understand what she feels, what she means now," says Pezaro. "I bear my own weight for a change on my on my feet. And I can say in a good way I mean that my feet are tired. I know what it feels like and it's amazing." The man who invented the device has a story of his own. Amit Goffer is also paralyzed. A vehicle accident took away his ability to walk about 16 years ago. "After stopping taking all the medicines to clear my mind then I was wondering how come wheelchair is the only solution," he says. But for those who are paralyzed being able to take a step on the Earth is a huge step for mankind. "Every step, everything, climbing up down stairs, is control by the person, by the will of the user of the device," says Goffer. "And this is different, it's not a robotic device it used robotic technology maybe but it is not a robotic device." The device is available in many countries but it comes at hefty price, about 52,500 Euros, or more than $70,000. "We have done a lot of work on the level of medical benefits we see with the product and there's clearly a cost reduction with medications, and there's a great cost reduction in reduced complications we're still gathering data and learning what the amounts are it varies a bit by person," says Larry Jasinski, Argo Technologies CEO. "But this product seems to be a product that pays for itself in just a couple of years." It is now available in Europe and Israel, the company says it will soon be available in North America and Asia. Back in Israel, Pezaro says the device allows her to do something she has always wanted to do, blend in a bit. But she has always stood out. Despite being a paraokegic, Inbal is an Olympic swimmer, who has won four silver and four bronze medals at the Paralympic Games. For her, this innovation simply allows her to take another step in an already incredible life. "For me, it's like a revolution," says Inbal.
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