Henry Hasson was injured in a car accident in 1994 that left him paralyzed at injury level T7. Although recovery from his injury was strenuous, Henry didn’t let it slow him down, as he went on to graduate medical school in 2001, followed by completing his neurology residency and fellowship in 2006. Dr. Hasson has now been practicing neurology for 12 years, with special qualifications in child neurology.
Dr. Hasson read an article in the Wall Street Journal about a clinical research study at NYU for the Indego exoskeleton which would give paraplegics the ability to walk again. After learning more, he decided to see if he would be a candidate for the device. His T7 injury level fell within the FDA approval range, making him eligible for training. He began his rehabilitation with the device in October 2016. Physical Therapist Clare Hartigan of the Shepherd Center conducted the training with Dr. Hasson at his home in Brooklyn, of which he said learning how to walk again was “easy and fun”. After first walking with Indego, Henry said he felt excited that the device may help with his core muscle strength and balance and that the weight bearing would be beneficial for his bones.
Henry had tried other exoskeletons, but chose Indego based on a variety of key features. The modular design of the device that allows it to be broken down into small parts for easy transport was one such differentiator. Other key attributes included how smoothly the device walks, the variable assist feature (which allows the user to customize the level of support given by the device), how easy it is to put the device on, and the fact that there is no backpack or exposed wires.
Although Indego has not replaced Dr. Hasson’s wheelchair, it acts as a complementary tool that has enabled him to do things he hasn’t done in years, such as exercising in an upright position. Henry uses Indego for his daily exercise, regular walks outside, and would hope to one day use it on stairs. He says that being upright has improved his quality of life and assisted with his breathing, circulation, and weight bearing.
Dr. Henry Hasson is one of the first users to own Indego for personal use. He has already found the device to have a positive influence on his day-to-day life and hopes it continues to improve his overall quality of life.
In November 2017, Dr. Hasson completed the 1 Mile Spinal Cord Damage Research Center Fundraiser Race using Indego. Below is a video documenting this tremendous accomplishment.