Quadriplegic who broke neck skiing finally walks again using exoskeleton

A man who was paralysed following a horror accident has taken his first steps thanks to a new robotic exoskeleton.

Anthony Mouravski, 24, became quadriplegic after he severed his spinal cord freestyle skiing back in 2021.

"My condition is a C5/C6 complete, which means that I completely severed the spinal cord," he recalled.

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"I used to do a lot of freestyle skiing but I broke my neck doing a jump. I have shoulder and bicep muscles but limited wrist muscles and no triceps or fingers or anything else."

The life-altering injury left Anthony unable to walk for two and a half years, but that all changed when he got to test out the new Atalante X, an exoskeleton created by the French tech company Wandercraft.

The business administrator from New Jersey, US, was strapped into the machine and walked across the room with the help of a staff member in a move that left him feeling like a "super soldier".

"It felt extremely amazing. It was able to get me standing up within minutes. I had no adverse reactions to it, which for me could have been muscle spasms.

"It also just felt amazing for the body including my cardiovascular health and every other muscle that was activated.

"Just by being upright and trying to force the exoskeleton to walk."

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The clever machine works by sensing shifts in the user's body as it positions itself to activate.

If the user leans forward the operator will stand up, while if they use their shoulders or rotate their body it will cause the machine to walk forward.

Leaning forward would result in the operator standing up while using shoulders and rotating the body as much as possible would result in walking forward.

The technology might be a big step up from what Anthony is used to, but getting used to the machine was no walk in the park after two and a half years.

"It was definitely somewhat difficult as it had been the most of an upper body workout that I've gotten in the last two and a half years," he said.

"I was able to get used to it right away and they even started lowering the assistance on the device so I was pushing myself more and more as the hour progressed.

"I'm going back August 15 and I'm going to be starting twice a week for as many months as I can afford."

The service costs £1,742 for 10 sessions, and Anthony and his family have now launched a GoFundMe and hope to raise £11,600 to cover more sessions, compliance and health insurance.

"[This is] the future for people like myself and other mobility-related disorders […] It's definitely really good in this regard," he said.

"The training that you get from this seems very beneficial to future health including musculature, digestive and cardiovascular."

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