CARMEL, New York - After spending the last nine years in a wheelchair, a Putnam County man is walking again thanks to a new, wearable robotic device.
Rusty Chmelovsky, 39, was paralyzed from the waist down in a construction accident in 2008.
This year, he was selected to train in a ReWalk exoskeleton device at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital in White Plains. The battery-powered machine provides powered hip and knee motion, allowing patients with spinal cord injuries to stand, walk and turn.
Chmelovsky is the first patient to use the device at Burke, and one of only 150 people in the country fitted with a ReWalk.
Having been fully trained, Chmelovsky can now take the device to his home in Carmel where he plans to use it for up to two hours a day.
"I'll just get better and better," he said. "Who knows, maybe someday I'll be running."