by Elaine Waksman
A beautiful story unfolded one Summer day in July. A neighbor I know who climbs mountains by day was training on Bear Mountain in Upstate NY. A Man in his 50’s approached him with curiosity inquiring what he was wearing on his back.
“A JBIT MedPro? What’s that?” he asked.
“It’s a device that is making my legs strong while I train to climb Mount Washington next month” he replied. “The coils are my hamstring muscles which are weaker than my other leg muscles. It also helps with making me more balanced.” he continued.
“I wonder if it will help my wife walk better. She has MS (Multiple Sclerosis), that is. She could use some help in making her leg muscles stronger. “
After my phone conversation with Mike, the gentleman who’s wife was diagnosed with MS 20+ years ago, I visited upstate New York to fit a JBIT MedPro on Pat. He reaction filled my eyes with tears. She was able to stand up straight without the fear of falling. “It’s remarkable” she exclaimed. “I can stand up straight and not be afraid to fall.”
We proceeded to walk while wearing the device around the house. “I feel like I am using muscles I haven’t used in a long time”, Pat reported. “It feels good. It feels right”.
I observed a straighter Pat, a more confident individual who was walking without caution and fear, enabling her to use a more natural gait pattern. She even swung her arms because she wasn’t holding her body in a tightened up and scared posture. Instead, her body was using its proprioception and balance to firmly place the standing leg on the ground, providing freedom of movement to the swinging leg.
The JBIT MedPro device came in handy once again as we proceeded towards the steps going down to the front yard of Pat’s house. She had little to no hesitation taking the stairs, feeling like she was in more control than without the device on.
Pat’s success with the JBIT MedPro gives us hope knowing that we can empower people with disabilities to take control of their bodies and never give up hope.