USMC Veteran Steve Holbert received his own Indego Personal from the VA back in March of 2019, 10 years after becoming paralyzed from the mid chest down. It took about 1 year for Steve to get screened for Indego, receive his training at the VA and complete the VA mandated home trial. Steve and another Veteran, a friend of Steve’s, completed training and both received their Indego devices around the same time. These two trailblazers have paved the way at Houston’s Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center to enable others to receive an Indego Personal much quicker than they did thus helping to support their fellow peers.
Since having his own Indego, Steve uses it to walk about 5 times per week around the outside of his home. He has a walking path in his long driveway which he regularly completes the majority of mornings. With such consistency and discipline, Steve has already achieved 165,000 steps in his Indego since receiving his own personal device with the goal of walking 200,000 steps by Christmas 2019!
As far as benefits since regularly using the Indego, Steve reports, "I would have to say the first thing to notice is that my bowel program goes much better and easier. Second, I would have to say the increased trunk control and strength that I have gained along with just plain old physical exercise that always makes me feel better. Lastly, it would have to be the psychological aspect of it. First there was the mental challenge to be able to control it or to be able to make it function rather than just going along for a ride in a walking robot. Now after using it for several months it has shifted to more of a feeling like I’m walking. I stand up tall and go outside for a walk."
Steve is active in his local Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) Chapter and passionate about helping his fellow Veterans. He is also part of the Indego Veteran Peer Support group which connects Veterans interested in Indego for personal use to Veterans who currently have their own Indego. To get more information about this group and receive a link to a Veteran Peer Support Group call where the Veterans speak about the experience using Indego and other exoskeletons they have tried, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was contributed by Dr. Kate Addis, PT, DPT, Clinical Specialist and Indego Instructor for Parker Hannifin. Kate Addis graduated Magna Cum Laude from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She went on to get her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Kate has extensive clinical experience as a Doctor of Physical Therapy, working in a variety of settings and with a diverse range of patient populations. Kate has treated patients across the continuum of care; rehabilitating injury, disease and dysfunction, promoting optimum movement and facilitating functional independence. It is Kate’s passion to empower others to lead healthy enriched lives and positively impact communities through innovated care which she is able to do through Instructing Clinicians and patients Nationwide on the Indego Exoskeleton.