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Spinal Cord Tumor/Ekso - Keaton's Story

Walking with Ekso: Keaton Ryan

Keaton was only 22 years old when unexpected surgical complications for two non-cancerous spinal tumors left him paralyzed from the waist down. After recovering from the surgery, Keaton came to Gaylord for both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation. Seven years after his surgery, on his 29th birthday, Keaton stood up and walked for the first time using the Ekso bionic exoskeleton at Gaylord. For years he had worked on isolated muscle exercises with the goal of walking again. Since February of 2014, he has been going to therapy twice a week with the Ekso, and he recently was able to stand on his own with the support of parallel bars. After Keaton had his surgery he was convinced he would walk again, but the Ekso didn’t exist. What wasn’t possible for Keaton then, is possible now – one step at a time.

It is easy to take for granted the ability to walk and move at will – until it is taken away. A spinal cord injury, or disease such as multiple sclerosis (MS) or stroke can result in lower body weakness or paralysis that can seriously impair or make walking impossible.  Gaylord is the only hospital in Connecticut to offer patients the Ekso bionic exoskeleton. And as a Model Spinal Cord Center, we provide comprehensive rehabilitation services to individuals with SCI and conduct spinal cord research, including clinical research. 

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