Daily Archives: October 31, 2012
A beach accident prompts a Fort Lauderdale mother and son to create Walking With Anthony, a non-profit that raises money to help spinal cord injury victims.
Anthony Purcell’s voice grows strained when he speaks about that February 2010 day that changed his life. Back in Florida visiting cousins, he dove into the water off South Beach and crashed into a sandbar.
“I thought I was going to die,” he recalls.
He didn’t. A cousin rescued him, but he was left paralyzed, with a broken neck and two bruised vertebrae.
The dream of regaining the ability to stand up and walk has come closer to reality for people paralyzed below the waist who thought they would never take another step.
A team of engineers at Vanderbilt University’s Center for Intelligent Mechatronics has developed a powered exoskeleton that enables people with severe spinal cord injuries to stand, walk, sit and climb stairs. Its light weight, compact size and modular design promise to provide users with an unprecedented degree of independence.