Robotic device helps paralyzed Putnam County man walk

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WHITE PLAINS -

A paralyzed man from Putnam County is receiving a Christmas miracle, thanks to a robotic device that helps him walk.

Rusty Chmelovsky, 39, has been a patient at Burke Rehabilitation Center in White Plains since 2008, the year he fell 32 feet from the roof of a house while on the job as a construction worker.

“I never thought something like this would happen to me,” said Chmelovsky, who is paralyzed from the waist down. “I didn't believe the doctor when he said I will never walk.”

Glenda Rosado, Chmelovsky’s physical therapist, says she has spent years working with Chmelovsky and is excited to instruct him on how to use the ReWalk Robotic Exoskeleton Device.

The device is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with injuries like paralysis to walk, turn and climb and descend stairs.

“You've changed someone's view of the world,” says Rosado. “He was used to looking at the world in a wheelchair level, looking up at people, and now he can stand up and look at you eye to eye, and be able to have a conversation. That's huge!”

According to Chmelovsky’s care team, he is the first patient in the region with the device.

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