Duluth, MN - 35-year-old mother-of-two Nicole Kwiatkowski
from Duluth, MN is walking with confidence despite suffering from paralysis,
thanks to the WalkAide.
Having suffered an incapacitating stroke in April 2007, Nicole struggled just
to walk. The debilitating effects of stroke range from loss of motor skills and
paralysis to cognitive impairments and speech complications. For Nicole,
paralysis was the major effect. The stroke slowed her life down considerably,
making it difficult for her walk, exercise, and keep up with her two children
(15-year-old son Jayden and 6-year-old daughter Taya).
Now, as a proud WalkAide user, Nicole is walking further, faster, and more
often than she has since suffering her stroke. Her story was even featured on
Duluth’s NBC and CBS television affiliate.
here to watch the news segment featuring Nicole and her WalkAide
practitioner Marc Westerbur.
Featured nationally on Good Morning America in January, the WalkAide
is about the size of an iPod and is worn around the calf. Using a patented
sensor technology called an accelerometer and transmitting data through a
Bluetooth connection, the WalkAide sends low level electrical signals directly
to a motor nerve in the leg, stimulating the muscles to raise the patient's foot
at the appropriate time in the gait cycle.
A study published in the September 2006 edition of the peer-reviewed journal
Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair reports the walking speed of
patients wearing the WalkAide increased 15% after three months of use, 32% after
six months, and nearly 50% after 12 months. The study also showed the number of
steps taken per day by WalkAide users increased significantly over the year.