Special walker helps patients stand tall

Special walker helps patients stand tall

Jared Sigler is in the midst of a challenging recovery. The 34-year old Alliston man experienced serious complications during a procedure at his local hospital. Blood clots travelled to his lungs, triggering multiple heart attacks and he was left with severe brain damage.

He was transferred to Hamilton General Hospital’s Regional Rehabilitation Centre for specialized treatment and has been working with the Acquired Brain Injury team for several months.

A large part of his rehabilitation has been focused on regaining movement and independence. To accomplish that, Jared recently began using a device called the Rise & Go Walker. It provides varying degrees of support for users as they regain strength and function.

“It showed him he can do it.”

“This walker allows some of our weakest patients to start walking weeks earlier than they could with a standard walker,” says Bonnie Buchko, a physiotherapist who has been supporting Jared in his recovery. “This walker is one of the most supportive devices that we have, with a power assisted elevating arm support, optional stabilizing knee blocks and hip harness it has the capability of supporting a person’s complete body weight.”

For Jared and his family, the walker has been a valuable physical tool, but has also provided much needed optimism. “One of his biggest goals besides getting home is to walk,” says Jared’s dad, Roland. “It’s an ace in his life because it’s helping him do what he wants. It showed him he can do it.”

The walker was donated by the Hamilton Health Sciences Volunteer Association (HHSVA). The HHSVA, a non-profit organization, operates the hospital’s parking, cafés, cafeterias and gift shops with profits donated to purchase equipment and fund patient programs that aren’t covered by government funding. With this support, hospital staff are able to provide enhanced care with the best possible equipment.

“That’s what this place is about,” Roland says. “Giving you a start to get back to yourself. And that walker is a big part of that.”