US military veteran Richard Neider has regained his ability to walk thanks to new robotic exoskeleton technology.
The Arizona vet was paralyzed in 2005 during service in Iraq due to a spinal cord injury that completely obliterated the use of his legs.
New FDA-approved technology developed in Israel helped Nieder take his first steps in more than a decade in what he deemed an “amazing experience,” as he described Thursday, Sept. 15, in an appearance on “Fox & Friends.” shared during , 2022.
“The second I stood up and got a chance to see everyone make eye contact… there aren’t too many words to use,” he said.
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The exoskeleton is tied around the knees, thighs and waist, Neider explained.
A box on the back of the contraption holds the device’s programming and battery.
Once strapped in, the technology can be operated via a button on the side of the watch or foot that initiates movement of the foot and allows the operator to steer.
“The machine is doing all the work. You are just along for the ride,” he said.
Nieder noted that military service members know what they’re signing up for and are prepared to “write that check for the ultimate sacrifice.”
“So, I’m just grateful that I got to do so many cool things,” he said.
“And I’m appreciative that I’m here.”
The veteran said being disabled is more of a mental struggle than a physical one – so being given the ability to walk again is “beyond words.”
“I smile absolutely every time I’m in that machine,” he said.
“And I get to walk side by side with my wife.”
The exoskeleton will remain with the needler after completing its initial training.
The technology is also being considered by the Veterans Administration for wider use among veterans.