A doctor came to tell her that she would never walk again – that the ski accident had broken four vertebrae and was paralyzed by the waist down.
"I was an athlete, I was a dancer, a big hair ballerina dancer in the '80s," said Boxtel, now 50. "I felt unbeatable and everything changed in one second."
In spite of her injury, Boxtel did not stop living her life. In the 26 years since, it has many adventures: skiing, mountain biking, paragliding, traveling in the world.
"Destiny is not waiting for any woman," says Boxtel. "There was no technology available today, so I had to figure out a lot about myself, started my own gym and found my new life."
In 2010, he learned about biological ecoskeleton costumes – machines that help people with mobility problems to walk. In an extracurricular, Boxtel took its first step in 18 years.
She loved it so much, she brought funds to buy her own. In just over one year, he took about 130,000 steps into the machine. Her health began to improve, her chronic pain began to decline and she felt stronger than ever.
"Human bodies must stand and walk," he said.
But Boxtel also felt guilty, realizing that this technology was not easily accessible or accessible.
"I thought," Amanda, why should you be the lucky girl? It is a fully adjustable device, we can take a whole community and walk with this unit. "
The program is based on two local fitness facilities. Group physiotherapists work together with clients to create personalized designs based on mobility issues – from spinal cord injuries to neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and Parkinson's disease.
"I wanted to … put it in a health club that promoted prosperity, where one could walk to an extracorporeal body that did physiotherapy but with someone else in a corridor," said Boxtel. "Disability can be socially isolated and we are in order to bridge the community, get people out of their homes and take care of."
The organization has provided free or low-cost treatment sessions to over 60 people, helping them overcome their injuries and do something that doctors never thought possible: walk again.
CNN's Meghan Dunn talked to Boxtel about her work. Below is a modified version of their conversation.
CNN: What was the first time you got up in an extoskeleton suit?
Amanda Boxtel: When I got up, I looked at the world from a new angle. It was as if all my dreams were running into an upright, strong moment. It was psychological.
For the first time, I could look across the room to things high. I was not looking into the nostrils or looking at the bumps. My world changed. It was not just this amazing physiological thing that happened to me. I could look at one eye in my eyes, and I could have this delicious heart to embrace the heart.
CNN: Your organization uses two types of technology. What are they and how do they help?
Boxtel: I have incorporated the whole body, side alternating vibrations and costume of bionic exoskeleton. I believe that the combination of these two technologies can reduce the risk of secondary complications associated with paralysis and neuromuscular disorders. The combination gives you a cardio workout, an increase in the range of motion and movement, especially in the paralyzed limbs. The main thing is the reduction of spasticity. Sound reduction or spasticity is so common and these technologies combat this.
The extracurricular by itself makes it one step further. You can put the bear accurately. fully supports the individual and this is crucial for bone density. Your joints and bones are aligned as they were designed to be. It helps a person walk over the ground, but not with stiff legs. It is a very natural step where I bend my knee and hit the ground with my heel as you do when you walk. But I walk over the ground through space with the world going through me – so I get the visual signs to help reconnect the brain and re-connect the neurons. And there is evidence that only pure robotics helps and repeat pacing is restorative.
CNN: You also help people access this technology all the time, beyond the treatment periods.
Boxtel: We help people with money-raising campaigns to acquire advanced technology for home use – so that they can access it daily. If you can have it at home every day, it will help with secondary complications and recovery. But it's scary when you find that something costs $ 90,000. So there comes and we offer fundraising materials and fundraising ideas to help.
Everyone should have access to this technology. This is my goal. How do we do this for humanity, so that people do not just sit at home? People must begin to believe in themselves and their potential. Life is not over. They can still recover.
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