BOSTON (CBS) — A stroll through his garden is what Cory Cook of New Hampshire plans to do first thing when he leaves Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Cambridge on Thursday.
“It will be nice to get back outside and take a walk,” he said.
Three years ago, Cook was paralyzed from the chest down during a swimming accident.
Doctors didn’t think he would ever walk again, but then he was introduced to the ReWalk Robotics exoskeleton back in October.
Using motor sensors and a battery pack, it allows patients to stand and move in an upright position, which not only improves quality of life but also overall health.
After months of grueling therapy, Cook is excited to once again see the world from a higher vantage.
“It changes the perspective that you have on the years to come,” he says. “Before as I was looking at those years from a seated position, now I can look at those years from a vertical position.”
Cory’s wife, Coleen, says she’s reminded of how tall he is now.
“I get excited when we get to stand side by side,” she said.
And while Cook and his wife will enjoy greater freedom, the ReWalk won’t break their bank. This is the first time that private, commercial insurance has agreed to cover the device, which costs about $70,000.
“Health insurance companies can have an open mind and look to the future,” he says, “And see this is a good piece of equipment and the health benefits will save them money in the long-run.”
ReWalk is the first exoskeleton device approved by the FDA for personal use in the community and Cory is the first Spaulding patient to complete training with it.