First session – Megan found her balance with the help of the preGait functions and her posture began to recover.
Third session – She became very comfortable and confident in the device. Megan learned how to work together with the exoskeleton, that Ekso was not walking for her, and stopped fighting it. At this point she really started to learn from it.
“It was here that I realized I need to take the information I learned in Ekso and carry it over into real life. This is where I realized the importance of Ekso and the steps. I was taking 500+ steps in my first few sessions of 45 minutes each. That was more steps than I was taking in days. Not only was I thrilled at the step quantity, but also the quality. The step pattern in Ekso is natural and would not allow me to drag my toes. You can only take quality steps in the device.”
Fifth session – Together with her therapist, Megan realized she had not used her calves in two years. She finally started pushing with her calves again to clear the toes that were curled under from foot drop. Even today, Megan says, “I still hear my PT when I am walking to PUSH.”
Session twelve – Megan stopped using her AFO because she was engaging her calves with every step. By the twelfth session she was taking 900+ steps in Ekso each time, including backward and forward walking.
By session twenty Megan was walking in the community completely unassisted—no more cane!
And the best news of all, by the thirty-sixth session in Ekso Megan was back to golfing, a goal of hers since her injury back in late 2015.
“Now, in outpatient, my therapists are kind and patient, but also challenge me. MidAmerica Rehabilitation Hospital is now my family.”
Today, Megan still can’t feel her legs from the waist down but has been able to build up her muscles in her legs in order to keep walking. She has carried on with all the lessons from her Ekso training and has been walking unassisted for nearly two years! She has returned to using Ekso in the outpatient setting, for what she calls “tune ups”. As a busy professional and someone who travels for pleasure as often as she can, Megan tends to get busy with life moving quickly and returns to some old habits—short steps, not weight-shifting, and dragging her toes.
“Every time I use Ekso I learn something new and take it with me. I do have to think of every step I am going to take, but now it is so much easier.”
Megan would like to stress how much she believes in Ekso. So much so, that she would drive more than two hours round-trip for the twelve-week duration of the study to get into the device to keep learning to walk. We are so thrilled with Megan’s progress and her incredible return to the full life she was enjoying prior to her injury. Since regaining her balance and strength she has been able to get back to her adventurous side and has been parasailing, scuba diving, cliff jumping, and hiking at the Grand Canyon. She also has returned to joining friends for concerts and still makes her annual trip to Six Flags to ride the roller coasters with her cousin.
Megan’s success with Ekso has also led to her joining Ekso Bionics as a Patient Ambassador so she can continue to share her story with as many people as possible and spread hope.