Our friend Iris has blown us away with her progress after using the Trexo for five months. Read on about how Iris has been using the Trexo and see the before and after Trexo Home in the video below.
Iris is like many other 4-year olds. She loves to draw pictures of her family and their house. Her face lights up at the sight of her favorite toys. And when her cousin Nathan comes over, she gets excited to play with him.
When Iris was 18 months old though, she was diagnosed with spastic quadriplegia, a type of Cerebral Palsy. Her diagnosis has impaired the development of her gross motor skills. Additionally, high muscle tone in her legs has made it really difficult to walk. Her legs scissor which makes it hard to take steps.
We first met Iris and her father Gary in October of 2018. At the time, Gary was in search for an assistive device that could help Iris become more mobile. What he really wanted was to get Iris on her feet so she can walk more. In therapy, Gary shared, at least two people would have to hold her feet and she needed assistance from another person to be held up.
Iris meets the Trexo
Like many parents, Gary was excited but skeptical about the Trexo Home. After all, over the years they have tried a lot of equipment and not all of it was right for Iris. They decided to visit us for a trial appointment at the Trexo Robotics office. Within minutes, Iris was on her feet and ready to walk independently.
New experiences can be scary and Iris was nervous. She did a wonderful job and slowly smiles begun to emerge. Each step opened up new possibilities: see what’s around the corner, find your toy, and walk with the grown-ups! Music, of course, also helped make things more fun.
Iris gets her own Trexo Home
Trexo’s first limited batch of devices became available in December by invite only. Iris’s parents made the most of this opportunity and decided to get a Trexo Home to use at their home.
The installation process was straight-forward. The Trexo team agreed on a time that worked with Iris’s family. As a part of the delivery process, Gary and his wife Carrie completed 3 hours of training and learned how to use the Trexo Home with Iris. Finally, she was able to walk at home with her parents, siblings and their guests.
In recalling Iris’s physical wellbeing prior to the Trexo, Gary mentions that Iris did not fully understand the proper pattern of stepping. Before Trexo, she had a walker to help her move around the house. However, because her walker did not show her how to move properly, Iris had difficulty with initiating steps and did not have the muscle to lift her legs in the correct manner.
Before and after the Trexo Home
We caught up with Iris and Gary five months after they obtained the Trexo Home. During this time, they have been using the Trexo 3-4 times per week, about 30 minutes per session. Right away we noticed significant improvements in Iris. She looked a lot stronger and was more confident. Proudly, she showed us her steps, alternating the left and right legs with high knees.
But what she was most excited to share was completely unexpected. Iris became able to walk up the stairs! With the assistance of Gary and Manmeet, she whizzed up the stairs, striding so fast that Manmeet could not keep up with her. Her legs became strong enough to lift her knees and feet high enough to reach stair after stair. Comparing her walking before the Trexo and after 5 months of use was truly astounding!
In the months of use, Gary also noticed some other changes. Iris started having more frequent bowel movements, increasing from every 3 days to 2 days. Her posture was getting better, important because she spends a lot of time sitting in her chair. And of course improvements in walking with better foot ground contact, alternating between left and right, and increased hip and knee flexion. In fact, Gary believes that because of the Trexo, Iris is now better able to understand what walking means and how it is supposed to be done.
Time to walk
As we discussed all these changes, Gary begun setting up the Trexo so Iris could show us how she uses the Trexo at home for her exercise. Everyone was eagerly waiting, especially Iris. She was chanting “Walking! Walking! Walking!” until Gary got her into the Trexo. As the device started walking, Gary placed the tablet in front of her on the Rifton communication tray. Iris immediately pushed the ‘plus’ button on the Trexo app to increase the speed of walking. No wonder she is able to do 700 to 800 steps per session!