Jason returned to SCVMC for his second day with the elegs this morning. Things started off pretty quietly-not too many other people were in the gym with us, and Jason was able to do a few laps around the gym without worrying if he was going to be in someone's way. He did really well with walking, and he got to help train the Santa Clara PTs on some of the safety features of the Eksos (the Ekso folks asked him to yell stop as he was beginning to stand up, just to see if the SC PTs knew how to respond to such a situation). The most exciting part, however, was when he got "un-tethered" and was able to walk out of the gym. On Tuesday and for the first part of today's session, Jason was hooked up to a rope that connected to the ceiling, just in case he fell or lost balance. After he did so well today, though, he came off of the rope and was able to walk around a bit more. This video shows Jason walking out of the gym.....the first person to do so at SCVMC :)
I definitely could see improvement from Tuesday to today. Once he got off the tether, it seemed like the gym got a lot more crowded. For those of you who know Jason well, you know that he's not really a big fan of being in the spotlight. He doesn't like a lot of attention. He had to get over that a bit today-we were both interviewed on camera for Ekso Bionics (I guess they're putting together a video of some sort), his picture was taken (repeatedly) by the hospital PR people, and then there were just a ton of people dropping in to see the new gadget at work. It was a little overwhelming. You can kind of see the crowds in this video...
Overall, the Ekso experience was really positive. Jason certainly thought it was a lot of fun. Hopefully, he can take part in future R&D.
On another note, I dropped off the care packages/bags today for the patients on the SCI floor..twelve in total. Thanks to everyone who contributed to that effort!