On June 1, 2013, 16 year old Will Hutchins was involved in a car accident that left him paralyzed at injury level T8. Today, Will is 19 and able to walk again with the help of Indego and the PTs at Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
Will was a participant in the clinical trial that enabled Parker to make Indego commercially available in the United States and Europe. Will continues to support the Parker team as a subject for future Indego functionalities such as Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) and is prominently featured in our updated brochure for Personal Use. We interviewed Will about his experience with Indego thus far.
How and when did you hear about Indego?
WH: Someone at Shepherd told me about Indego but I was too young (17) at the time to try Indego. Very shortly after I turned 18, I was offered the opportunity to participate in an Indego study.
Describe some of your feelings/emotions when you first walked using Indego.
WH: I was blown away. To have the opportunity to walk again was amazing. My girlfriend Kaci (now my fiancee) liked it as well. She was with me in the car during the horrible car accident and she supported me during my rehabilitation at Shepherd Center.
What was it like being able to walk with your classmates at your high school graduation?
WH: It was always my goal to walk again and be on the stage with my peers. Thanks to Indego, this dream came true. I was very nervous as it was the first time that I walked with Indego in front of so many people. When I walked up the ramp it was super quiet, but when I got up to the stage people started to stand up and cheer. I am not the guy who is looking for this kind of attention, but I am very thankful that I was given the chance to walk during my graduation.
Does Indego replace your wheelchair?
WH: No, but it is better than sitting down constantly. It gives me another option.
How was the training/learning to walk with Indego?
WH: It was pretty easy. I started with a walker and within 30 minutes I graduated to the crutches. I had to learn to trust the device. The device looks so slim and light that I was afraid that it wasn't going to hold me, but it did. Now I am in the process to further improve my walking in Indego.
How do you use Indego today/now?
WH: I don't have my own Indego yet but I hope to have one eventually. I would walk in the yard and would take it anywhere I could.
Does Indego improve your quality of life? If yes, how so?
WH: It stretches me out and my spasms reduce significantly after Indego use.
What are you able to do now with Indego that you weren't able to do before?
WH: Indego offers me opportunities I couldn't imagine after my accident, such as going to a concert and seeing the act. This wasn't possible with my wheelchair.
If you are interested in learning more about the Indego exoskeleton, please visit our website or give us a call at 1-844-846-3346.
This article was contributed by Bobby Gallagher, Marketing Specialist, Parker Engineered Materials Group.