Exoskeleton helps spinal cord and stroke victims walk again

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Most of us take it for granted, but when a paralyzed veteran stood up and walked today, it was like a miracle had changed his world.  

Laquan Taylor was shot numerous times by a carjacker.

"I was in a vegetative state. I was told I would never walk again," said the 31-year-old Navy veteran. 

But he's proving them wrong with the use of new technology: An exoskeleton suit.

"It allows me to stand. It gives me the sense of confidence again without falling or having issues," he explained.

With some help from his physical therapist, Taylor stood and walked across a room at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa.

The Ekso GT exoskeleton was donated to the hospital by SoldierStrong, a group that had already donated 16 exoskeletons across the country at a cost of more than $100,000 each. 

"I've seen this a hundred times now and every time is special. You see the smile on their face, their eyes light up," said Chris Meek, co-founder of SoldierStrong. 

Dr. Kevin White, a spinal cord injury specialist, says he expects the devices will become cheaper. 

"This is going to be commonplace in a short period of time. As years go by this technology gets better and better," said White. 

He says the exoskeleton donated today can help people with full or partial paralysis.  It's FDA approved for both spinal cord injuries and stroke. 

LaQuan says the exoskeleton has accelerated his therapy and improved his outlook.  "It gives you your sense of independence back.”