There are a lot of people across the nation, including many here in Florida, who would not hesitate to shake the hand of a veteran on the street. That's because many people appreciate the hard work and sacrifice that goes along with military service. For some service members, their sacrifice results in life-altering injuries that most Americans can only hope they will never experience in their lifetime.
One such injury that can occur and can have a devastating impact on a person's life is a spinal cord injury. Depending on where the injury occurs, a person could become partially or almost entirely paralyzed. They may lose their ability to walk or even use their arms. Oftentimes, injuries such as this require life-long care and the use of a wheelchair to get around.
Currently, there is no cure for spinal cord injuries.
But science is offering hope to veterans who have spinal cord injuries in the form of a new piece of technology. Called an exoskeleton suit, this new piece of technology enables a patient to walk again using only two crutches for balance. In an interview for CBS back in November, the device was shown in action, helping a veteran with a spinal cord injury walk for the first time in 40 years.
Although advancements in technology are promising a future where people are not held back by many disabilities, it's worth pointing out that these new devices oftentimes come with a hefty price tag. It's good to know though that veterans who have been injured while in the line of duty are eligible for benefits that can be used to offset the cost of such devices. And as the CBS story shows, this may even be a possibility for veterans who suffered injuries decades ago.
Source: CBS News, "How the Exoskeleton Helps Veterans Walk Again," Nov. 9, 2014