LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A new device at Christus Ochsner St. Patrick’s Rehabilitation facility is easing the physical therapy journey many patients have to go through.
The LiteGait allows patients to move freely by putting them in a harness that suspends them above ground or a treadmill.
“Lately, I’ve been walking with nothing; just me walking, which is great progress. I didn’t think that would ever happen, but it did," Cynthia Williams, a physical therapy patient, said.
Williams had a stroke in September 2018.
“We went straight to St. Patrick’s Hospital. So, I went into their rehab. I was there for three weeks. I was discharged on December...December the eighth, 2018. I’ve been going to rehab ever since," Williams said.
Part of that rehab routine included using the LiteGait device, which she says helped build her confidence when learning how to walk on her own again.
“When I was walking I’d fall, but 'bing’ spring me back up and we’d start all over again. Now, I’m at the point with the Gait unit that they still hoist me up, but I’m very seldom falling. They’re doing strenuous exercises; making me hop and jump and push my legs up in the air," Williams said.
Michael Muzyczyn, a physical therapist at Christus Ochsner, agreed, saying the device has been a big help not only for the patients, but therapists.
“It’s been a huge confidence booster for folks who especially have a fear of falling, or who might otherwise be unsafe trying certain activities. I’m able to work with them hands-free in a lot of cases. I can step back, analyze their gait, how they’re moving, make corrections without putting having to put them in jeopardy by risking their safety or having to ask another therapist to help me with the situation," Muzyczyn said.
Muzyczyn said the confidence he sees in patients after using the LiteGait device has better results during and after physical therapy.
The $25,000 for the device was raised last year through the Green Hat Charity Fun Run/Walk/Crawl. This year’s Fun Run/Walk/Crawl will be Mar. 16 starting at the Christus Ochsner St. Patrick’s Hospital at 11 a.m.