VMC and Ekso: Helping patients walk again!


STACIE BYARS taking steps forward in the Ekso robot

VMC is one of just 60 rehabilitation programs nationwide utilizing Ekso, a revolutionary exoskeleton robot, to help patients with brain and spinal cord injuries. With its motorized legs and backpack computer, Ekso gives hope to patients who fear they will never walk again.

This technology recently made a difference for Stacie Byars, a 52 year-old Seattle-based marketing consultant. While in Redwood City on business, Stacie suffered a stroke which left her paralyzed on her left side. She was brought to VMC for acute rehabilitation.

Stacie’s rehab team used Ekso early in her therapy program. Her physical therapist, Amy Millan, DPT, explains, “Ekso can help patients like Stacie walk earlier, gain confidence and develop muscle memory.” Amy adds, “Many patients like Stacie are afraid to take those first steps. In Ekso, the robot supports them and they learn about the movements of walking with confidence.”

Stacie shared, “The first time I used Ekso, it was rough. After that, there was a big leap forward. I felt powerful! It was definitely the beginning of my walking.”

The VMC Foundation has provided nearly $75,000 for Ekso upgrades and staff training. Read more about how charitable donations are being put to good use at VMC in our Fall 2016 Impact Report.

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