Greensboro, N.C. - In 2001 during her freshman year of college where she was playing on the school's soccer and softball teams, Lauren Field, now 28-years-old, started having unexplainable seizures. Nearly ten years later, after multiple misdiagnoses, several surgeries, and the insertion of a pacemaker, Field thought her medical mystery had been solved. However, on May 5, 2010, Field's life changed forever when she suffered a spinal cord stroke and woke up with paralysis from the bottom of her rib cage, down. Since the stroke, Field has slowly regained feeling; however, she still has a form of lower leg paralysis known as "foot drop" that prevents her from walking normally.

Recently, Field had a huge breakthrough in her rehabilitation when she was fit with the WalkAide, a medical device the size of the iPod, on both of her legs by WalkAide-trained specialist and physical therapist Cole Parsons. Worn around the calf, just below the knee, the WalkAide uses electrical stimulation to combat foot drop and restore mobility to people with stroke, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, and incomplete spinal cord injury.

When Field was first fit with the WalkAide devices she said she had tears in her eyes because she was able to walk normally for the first time since her stroke. She is now able to navigate her college campus much easier as she pursues a second bachelors of science degree in forensic biology, and she is able to perform her job better since she doesn't trip over things in the office. She also has increased energy, and only requires the assistance of one forearm crutch as opposed to the two she needed prior to being fit with the WalkAide. An athlete all her life, Field is also now able to work out at the gym, something that's always been a hobby of hers.
Field recently spoke to several local media outlets about the WalkAide and what a difference it is making in her life. Following is a resulting news story from WXII-TV (NBC):

About the WalkAide - An intelligent functional electrical stimulation (FES) system, the WalkAide restores mobility to people who suffer from a form of lower leg paralysis known as foot drop due to stroke, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, and incomplete spinal cord injury. About the size of an iPod and worn around the calf just below the knee, the WalkAide applies low level electrical currents directly to the peroneal nerve (i.e. the motor nerve that controls the movement of the ankle and foot), prompting a muscle contraction which lifts the foot at the appropriate time during the gait cycle. The device uses an embedded accelerometer, which is similar sensor technology to that used in Wii video gaming systems, to determine the appropriate timing for stimulation with every step.

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