A man paralyzed in accidental steps, thanks to implants
A paralyzed man from the Netherlands does the incredible, thanks to modern technology and a lot of hard work.
When Gert-Jan Oskam, 40, was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident in China 12 years ago, his life became extremely difficult, the New York Post reported Wednesday.
Oskam spent years in physiotherapy and later became part of the ETH’s “digital bridge” program.
The team put implants in his brain and spine which are hooked up to a computer in a backpack. According to a study published this week in Nature.
Oskam is delighted with the difference in his life, and a photo show him standing while wearing the head device:
A 40-year-old paraplegic is regaining his ability to stand and walk after 12 years thanks to implants in his brain and spinal cord. #GertJanOskam lost his ability to walk following a bicycle accident 12 years ago, which left him with a… pic.twitter.com/DZ9A4iEGQl
— Hespress French (@HespressFr) May 25, 2023
“Last week there was something that needed to be painted and there was no one to help me. So I took the walker and the paint, and I did it myself while I was up,” he commented.
Oskam is also seen in video footage moving his legs to walk:
“Scientists say it’s like a digital bridge that goes around the damaged part of his spine,” NBC News reported.
Meanwhile, study author Professor Grégoire Courtine is amazed at Oskam’s progress, adding that when the team met him he was unable to take a single step without needing help. .
Now Oskam says he is able to walk 330 to 660 feet a day, and can also stand for a few minutes on his own.
“I have total control over what the stimulation does, and it gives me a lot of freedom that I didn’t have with previous therapy,” Oskam explained.
Other video footage shows the man getting up from a wheelchair and walking up stairs, according to ABC 7:
Courtine thinks this particular case and the technology will help others in the future, saying: “There’s no reason why this wouldn’t apply to the vast majority of people with spinal cord injuries. “