Thibault

When 28-year-old Thibault, a man living in the city of Grenoble, France, heard about the possibility of a second chance, he could not believe it. A team of doctors and scientists from the University of Grenoble approached him with a project that would have only been a possibility in a sci-fi movie a few years ago.

The Frenchman was bedridden with quadriplegia. A quadriplegic person is unable to move any part of his body from the neck down. A man suffering from this ailment needs constant care and cannot have a normal life even with help.

There were no known treatments for cases like this, until now. A research team at the University of Grenoble has developed a project involving cutting edge technology. Thibault was asked to participate in the project and use the four-limb robotic system that allowed him to walk again.

It was no easy feat. He had to undergo surgery to get implants that communicate his brain with the robotic exoskeleton. Scientists developed the least invasive way to do so, only piercing through the skin and using no wires for the implants. After the procedure, he had to undergo two years’ worth of training to use the four-limb exoskeleton.

The implants and the 24 months wait was worth it. Thibault can walk now, each day for a longer time. With each session he finishes, new possibilities appear.

News about this development has started to travel all over the world. Dr. Shakespeare, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, qualified the development as “a welcome and exciting advance” but proved cautious as this is new technology and has yet to be fully developed.

Regardless of caution, this proves an enormous step in bettering the lives of people who otherwise would’ve been in a hopeless predicament. Perhaps, with time, technology can help everyone with any sort of paralysis.

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