AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – A nonprofit dedicated to improving veterans’ lives makes a big donation to VA Augusta.
SoldierStrong donates its 30th robotic exoskeleton to VA Augusta this Wednesday. The device will help enable veterans with spinal cord injuries to stand and walk again.
SoldierStrong is a national nonprofit providing revolutionary technologies for injured veterans.
The Ekso Indego Therapy device was given to the VA Medical Center Spinal Cord Unit.
“This piece of technology helps paralyzed and injured veterans stand and walk again,” said Christina Stroback, executive director of SoldierStrong. “Which changes the full course of their mobility, their life, what they’re able to do.
Stroback tells us there are many mental health benefits of the technology as well.
“To be able to stand at eye level has an extreme impact on the mental health of injured veterans,” said Stroback.
Wednesday’s ceremony included a demonstration of the customizable exoskeleton device.
“This equipment is designed to be used in the clinic with a therapist in the veteran side-by-side trying out to see: is this the therapy that will work and be of value for you,” said Michael Priebe, deputy chief of staff at the VA Medical Center downtown.
Army veteran Solomon Battle uses the device three to four times a week.
“It feels great to get out of the chair and move around, not just stand up,” said Battle. “I can actually do what I love to do.”
Before using the device, Battle says he felt hopeless.
“This device came around and it gave me hope again,” he said.”Hopefully one day, once I’m done with this, I can be able to get out of it and walk myself. That’s my main goal.”
“Being able to stand for the National Anthem is something we hear a lot from veterans,” said Stroback. “Being able to- this is always sweet- when veterans are able to stand and give their significant others a kiss on the forehead or on the top of their head. It’s special little moments like that I think a lot of people take for granted.”
Battle tells us he’s already noticing an improvement.
“It’s bright. It brings life back to me,” she said.
SoldierStrong tells us that they plan to continue donating the exoskeleton device to veteran therapy programs across the nation.