Breakthrough gives patients chance to walk again

December 21, 2012 3:00:38 PM PST
A bionic breakthrough gave patients suffering from spinal cord injuries and paralysis the chance to walk again.

This device is called the "Ekso", short for exoskeleton. It's a ready-to-wear battery powered bionic suit.

It was first designed to help soldiers carry heavy loads and now it's bearing a different weight.

Patient Aaron Bloom provides the balance and body position and the Ekso does the rest.

Bloom, a Pasadena, California, was paralyzed two years ago in an accident.

Mentally it's a wonderful feeling to be upright and moving, Bloom said.

The device can also benefit the body by preventing osteoporosis and keeping bones strong, according to therapists.

"I just started using this pro step function yesterday so this is pretty awesome in my mind," Bloom said.

The $150,000 suit is only available at some rehabilitation centers. The goal is to design the device for patients to use at home eventually.