New medical device helps assist people with paralysis, spinal cord injuries

Posted at 7:22 AM, Nov 18, 2021

PHOENIX — A new medical device aims to improve the quality of life for people with paralysis and spinal cord injuries.

"It's really exciting, actually," Maria Gamboa said. "It's important because people need to know that people like me need stuff like this to gain their independence back."

Gambo was injured in a car crash late last year. Since then, she's had been paralyzed from the chest down.

The new technology is helping her regain her strength and could help her regain her independence.

The Abilitech Assist uses springs and motors to help the user lift objects and perform everyday activities.

Gamboa said simple things like holding a water bottle can be difficult.

"Well, like I said, I try to keep a positive mind. But it still hurts," she said.

"Being able to lift your hand to your mouth, to brush your teeth, to eat, to take a drink of water, to scratch your nose is a huge difference in someone's life," said Dan Bonaroti, a physical therapist and owner of Touchstone Rehabilitation in Phoenix.

On Wednesday, some of Bonaroti's patients were given a chance to try out the new equipment.

"The better equipment you can give them sometimes it's a life-changing resource for them," he said.

For more information about the new device, click here.

This story was originally published by Patrick Hayes on Scripps station KNXV in Phoenix.