Tony Dewitt

Before contracting COVID-19, Tony Dewitt was an active 59-year-old, working as a hydraulic crane operator. Tony and his wife, Patty, live in Paoli, Indiana.

At first, Tony felt pretty bad with flu-like symptoms, but not so bad he deemed a trip to the hospital was necessary. He remained isolated at home, trying to get through the aches and tiredness.

About two weeks later, Tony was up and getting ready for work when he had a stroke. Tony admitted to Baptist Hospital in Louisville under the care of Dr. Gormley, his neurologist. Having completed his initial hospitalization, Tony discharged home with the recommendation he continue his recovery through outpatient therapy. His physician recommended Southern Indiana Rehab Hospital.

Upon working with Tony, his therapists determined he may benefit from working with the EksoNR robotic exoskeleton. The EksoNR helps patients stand, work on balance, and most importantly, begin taking steps when they may not feel steady enough to do so on their own.

“I’ve used the robot 5 or 6 times and feel very safe in it,” Tony said. “It was an odd feeling at first, but now I see how much it has helped me progress.”

The EksoNR helps Tony with his posture, he can breathe better in it, and it helps him balance when he doesn’t feel he can do so himself. With the device, Tony is also able to complete more step repetitions than he could without it. “I’m really tired when I’m finished with therapy, but I can tell that I’m getting stronger!”

Before using the EksoNR, Tony was wheelchair-bound. Now he has progressed to walking with a cane. He looks forward to getting better during each therapy session with the EksoNR. Prior to contracting COVID, Tony was very active with his grandchildren (ages 4 and 11), participating in their baseball and basketball activities. He knows that by the summer, he’ll be out with them again. And he can’t wait!