Krista McNallyFeb 8, 2018, 7:40 pm

Rehab robot gets patients walking without fear of falling

Glen Cove Hospital is the only place in the state where people can use the G-EO System

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GLEN COVE — A robot is helping rehab patients on Long Island return to normal motor functions much quicker than conventional physical therapy.

James Gallagher has always been an active person. Which is why about two years ago when he couldn't keep up with others, he knew something was wrong. He was experiencing weakness, impaired balance, and falling, but the final straw came when his daughter was too afraid to let him hold his grandchild.

"She wouldn't let me hold my grandkids because she thought I might fall with them," Gallagher said.

That is when he sought help and, after several rounds of testing, found that he had hydrocephalus, which is fluid build-up in the brain. After a placement of a stunt in his brain, he still had to recover and regain his strength. Luckily, he was introduced to the G-EO System, a harness-assisted gait trainer that leads people to recovery without human assistance.

"It is really a piece of equipment that is quite transformative for our care," said Carey Otterstedt, administrative director of rehabilitation services at Glen Cove Hospital.

It is one of only eight G-EO System robots in the country and Glen Cove Hospital is the only place that has one in New York State.

The most beneficial part of the machine is the harness which holds patients up so they don’t have to worry about falling.

"He is suspended safely with his feet in the plates in the bottom. He really can direct me and I can direct him and we can work together," physical therapist Dianne Leone said.

After only two weeks training with the robot, Gallagher is heading home.

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