Lowcountry man gets new set of "legs" 10 years after being paralyzed
Adam Gorlitsky, 29, was left paralyzed after a car accident 10 years ago.
Since then he's adjusted to life in a wheelchair. Now, though, he's spending his time adjusting to life with "legs" again.
"I'm excited to start living," Gorlitsky said Wednesday on the 10 year anniversary of his accident.
After putting together the money for a down payment, Gorlitsky received his very own exoskeleton from ReWalk Robotics, the only wearable robotic exoskeleton with FDA approval for personal use.
"I feel really alive when I'm in this thing so I don't really think about the accident," Gorlitsky said.
ReWalk representatives were in Charleston on Wednesday to deliver Gorlitsky's personal exoskeleton to him.
"We are so pleased to deliver a ReWalk system to Adam this week, and have him join the ranks of ReWalkers around the world," said ReWalk Robotics CEO Larry Jasinski. "We are proud to work with dozens of rehabilitation hospitals across the country like Roper Rehabilitation Hospital, which help expose the spinal cord injured community to this technology, and provide training so that eligible ReWalkers can have the chance to stand and walk again."
ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) to stand upright and walk. The system provides user-initiated mobility through the integration of a wearable brace support, a computer-based control system and motion sensors. The system allows independent, controlled walking while mimicking the natural gait patterns of the legs.
It was an emotional day for Gorlitsky and his family as he received his own unit.
"It's ten years in the making," Gorlitsky explained. "I feel in control of my injury again. I dont feel trapped. I'm able to take control of the movement of my legs."
"It's a tough day," his father, Stan, added. "The best part is he is taking control of things."
It was a moment Gorlitsky has spent the past several months training for at Roper St Francis Hospital in Charleston.
"It's exciting particularly because it matters so much to him," said his physician, Dr. David Powell, the Medical Director of the Roper Center for Spinal Cord Injury. "He already is a very independent young man, a very driven young man as evidenced by all this. Really, it's exciting to see him and all the joy he finds from this."
After some training on his new "legs", Gorlitsky will be able to stand, walk, and return to many activities he once did every day.
One of the things he is most looking forward to is taking walks with his family and a special someone.
"If y'all go to my go fund me campaign, the pieces are there. I think she knows who she is," he said shyly.
And, he's most excited about having the future at his feet.
"I'm ready to live life to the fullest. I have the rest of my life to get really good at this," he said.
Part of that includes walking the Cooper River Bridge Run in April.
He also revealed the name of his exoskeleton Wednesday. He calls it the "Betty Carlton." Betty is for his late grandmother, and Carlton is for the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air character.
Gorlitsky still needs help with the costs of his new exoskeleton. To help, visit his "I GOT LEGS" campaign.