New system helps patients walk again

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It's a skill we sometimes take for granted - the ability to walk.
But for those battling paralysis, it's something they have to work on everyday.

A new system is now offered by Sparrow Hospital ; it changes a patient's life step by step.

Chris Stuchell is a patient at Sparrow hospital who is recovering from Guillain-Barre , a neurological autoimmune disease.

The disease has left Stuchell paralyzed, and he now has to learn how to walk again.

"It's very scary when you fall," he said. " The older you get the scarier it gets obviously."

But a new piece of equipment is helping him get back on his feet, it's called SafeGait - a weight-support system that operates by placing patients in a body harness that's suspended along the ceiling.

It keep patients upright and helps them to walk again.

"SafeGait can take up to 50 percent of a patient's body weight off of them," says Kris Tennant, Director of Rehabilitation at Mary Free Bed in Sparrow Hospital.

With the new technology, therapists at Sparrow will have more
one on one time with patients.

And for Chris Stuchell, it's key to walking again.

"I can work on my gait and the physics of walking," he said.

Therapists at Sparrow rehabilitation unit say patients that use the
SafeGait system can feel confident in their walking abilities.
If they fall, the system catches them.

"This will get me over the last step," said Stuchell.

Sparrow Hospital hopes the SafeGait System will speed up the recovery process of patients.