When Carolina Hatton stood up in front of a packed crowd Wednesday night a huge smile took over her face. If you took one glance at the apparatus attached to her body and you could understand why she was smiling.
"It's just an amazing feeling to be up and walking," Hatton explained.
Hatton, who resides in from Hamilton, Ohio, was paralyzed in a car accident on the way home from the Orange Bowl in 2009 after falling asleep on the road.
"I wake up and we all scream at one time and the next thing I know is I'm trying to get out of the car and I can't move," Hatton recalled. "That's when I realized that something was definitely wrong and that's when the pain came."
Hatton said her son Cayden is what motivated to keep up her fight to walk again.
"He was my motivation to get up out of bed. He was my motivation to try new things and go on and move forward with my physical therapy," Hatton said.
Hatton and paralysis patients across the globe were aided in their fight earlier this year when an amazing piece of technology made the dream of standing up and walking again a possibility. The Drake Center , where Hatton is a patient, is one of 20 locations around the world to offer the Ekso Bionic Exoskeleton.
On Wednesday night, Hatton debuted the motorized device that utilizes a control pad to set parameters to walk, stand and sit. For the first time in three years Hatton was able to walk.
"There's no words to describe how, I mean when you're in a wheel chair you would never think about getting back up again," Hatton explained. "I think about it every day. It's just there are things you just can't do. The Ekso stands me up straight. It helps me walk and it takes most the strain out of your body."
The Ekso Skeleton that Hatton donned was an anonymous gift to the Drake Center. The model Hatton wore costs about $140,000, but a less expensive consumer version is of the skeleton is expected to be in 2014.
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