Robotic physical therapy comes to OLOL
BATON ROUGE - Some patients at Our Lady of the Lake Rehabilitation Center are getting more help from a physical therapy machine that is quite futuristic.
Sloan Deumite broke his neck in False River more than 30 years ago, leaving him paralyzed.
He was originally treated at Our Lady of the Lake, but his family has spent years looking for a physical treatment that could actually help him walk again.
“It feels good to be upright, walking,” said Sloan.
“We stopped at Miami Project Paralysis where they have this identical machine,” said Norman Deumite, Sloan's father. “I saw him walk in for a couple of days. The last day he walked in it, he walked for almost a mile."
That machine, known as the Optimal-G by Motorika, is only in four hospitals in the country. Right now, it's here in Baton Rouge.
"This machine has robots on it that can actually help move their legs for them," physical therapist Sarah Trahan said. "Then it engages the patient and some simulation activities to give them the feed back they need and make improvements from that."
Although it’s only found in a handful of hospitals, it'll likely help many different patients.
“Spinal cord injury, head injury, knee replacement, hip replacement, and I think people with Parkinson's can get something out of this,”Deumite said.
With the $270,000 machine, patients aren't just getting the physical therapy they need. By standing upright and moving at a pace that works for them, they are also gaining confidence.
“When you're sitting in this strap and you look over to that screen that's in front of you and you see yourself upright and your legs moving the way they should, mentally it just means so much to all these people,” said Deumite.
“I know for me this machine's given me a lot of hope. First thing, I'm glad it's in Baton Rouge and will give a lot of Baton Rougeans hope too,” said Sloan.