Seattle, WA - Greenwood, WA resident and WalkAide user John
Boettner successfully walked three miles in the April 13th MS Lifelines Walk
hosted by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in Seattle. This is quite an
accomplishment considering he suffers from left-side paralysis and struggled to
walk two city blocks at the beginning of last year.
Visit Seattle’s ABC
affiliate, KOMO-TV to watch news coverage of Boettner’s achievement: http://www.komoradio.com/home/video/17662124.html?video=pop&t=a.
Boettner was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in January 2001. The
debilitating effects of MS range from loss of vision and cognitive impairments
to seizures and various forms of paralysis. For Boettner, the disease gradually
progressed to cause a form of paralysis called foot drop that limits a person’s
ability to walk. A former Environmental Specialist for the State of Washington,
Boettner was forced to retire after 30 productive years with the Department of
Fish & Wildlife, and then National Resources.
Fitted with the WalkAide in early in 2007 by Certified Prosthetist /
Orthotist Eric Weber at Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics, Boettner combined
the WalkAide technology with determination and exercise to successfully restore
his motor skills. Boettner hopes his accomplishment inspires others with MS.
"The WalkAide really has made a difference in my life," Boettner said. "I see
it as a partnership between me, my practitioner, and the device. You have to
commit to improving your walking ability and dedicate yourself to exercise. The
device enables you to take it that much further."
For more information on
Boettner and his goals, please visit his MS Walk website: http://walkwas.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Walk/WASWalkEvents?fr_id=8776&pg=entry.
About the WalkAide: The WalkAide helps to restore mobility
and functionality for those with paralysis due to MS, stroke, spinal cord
injury, traumatic brain injury, and cerebral palsy. By 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. About the size of an iPod, the device is
worn around the leg, just below the knee.
Clinical results: A study published in the September 2006
issue of the peer-reviewed journal Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
suggests the WalkAide can reveal hidden potential for additional patient
recovery and mobility. The walking speed of patients wearing the WalkAide
increased by 15% after three months. With continued usage, patients’ walking
speed increased by 32% after six months and by nearly 50% after twelve months.
The study also showed the number of steps taken per day by WalkAide users
increased significantly over the year.