Bionic suit helps paralyzed student stand, walk again

Bionic suit helps paralyzed student stand, walk again

Posted: Updated:

Walking - it's something most of us take for granted.

But not Mary Beth Davis, whose life changed when a car accident broke her neck and left her paralyzed four-years ago.

"It's something hard to swallow," she says, about hearing she would never walk again.

But instead of sticking to her wheelchair, Wednesday she puts on a bionic suit.

And she stands, then walks, with the help of the suit's motors at her knees and hips.

After years in the chair, she's back to full height.

"You appreciate it more that you get to talk to people standing at eye level," she said.

The exoskeleton suit, nicknamed "Murphy," is one of 12 suits in the U.S., according to the physical therapists with the Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Clinic.

They say it cost around $170,000.

Mary Beth and a small team of physical therapists show Murphy off to a technology class at Deer Creek Middle School, demonstrating how the suit responds to shifts from her upper body.

Students eagerly follow her through the hallways as she walks.

"She can walk around even though she's paralyzed in her legs, that's pretty cool," said student Mason Martin.

"I think it's pretty brave that she has gone through all this and how she's come out pretty much in better spirits then when she went in," said student Ellie Shume.

Mary Beth shows the kids the car she drives herself. She can get in an out in about a minute, dismantling her wheelchair and pulling herself in with her arms. The bionic suit belongs to the clinic, so she still uses her chair on a daily basis.

The lesson of the day? How technology can change lives.

"The future is limitless so who knows what it'll be whenever they're out of college in 8 years," said technology teacher Jamie Brehm.

And another, equally important lesson: how a college student, told she'd never walk again, found a way to march toward her future.

"It's not the same as walking as I remember it used to be, but it comes pretty close," Mary Beth said.


She plans to borrow the suit from the clinic for OSU graduation next month. That way she can walk across the stage to accept her diploma.

After graduation, Mary Beth plans to apply to veterinary school.
  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • OKCPD search for man caught on camera robbing payday loan location

    OKCPD search for man caught on camera robbing payday loan location

    Monday, July 28 2014 12:14 PM EDT2014-07-28 16:14:33 GMT
    Police say a man robbed a cash advance store in NW OKC Friday. Photo courtesy: Oklahoma City Police.Police say a man robbed a cash advance store in NW OKC Friday. Photo courtesy: Oklahoma City Police.
    The Oklahoma City Police Department is hoping the public recognizes a man they say robbed a payday loan store in NW Oklahoma City.
    The Oklahoma City Police Department is hoping the public recognizes a man they say robbed a payday loan store in NW Oklahoma City.
  • Norman eyes new fund for flooding, drainage issues

    Norman eyes new fund for flooding, drainage issues

    Monday, July 28 2014 12:27 AM EDT2014-07-28 04:27:12 GMT
    In Norman, flooding isn't terribly unusual during rain.For a city who has a street named Flood Street, and another nicknamed "Lake McGee" for the drive that often floods, having a fund to take care of issues like drainage would be beneficial, city leaders say.
    In Norman, flooding isn't terribly unusual during rain.For a city who has a street named Flood Street, and another nicknamed "Lake McGee" for the drive that often floods, having a fund to take care of issues like drainage would be beneficial, city leaders say.
  • Norman emergency crews respond to near drowning - one person transported to hospital

    Norman emergency crews respond to near drowning - one person transported to hospital

    Sunday, July 27 2014 11:27 PM EDT2014-07-28 03:27:24 GMT
    There is a possible drowning at Lake Thunderbird. Norman emergency personnel are on the scene in the Turkey Creek Pass area of the lake.
    There is a possible drowning at Lake Thunderbird. Norman emergency personnel are on the scene in the Turkey Creek Pass area of the lake.
  • More HeadlinesMore>>

  • "I'm pregnant": Man, 80, to be charged for killing intruder claiming to be pregnant

    "I'm pregnant": Man, 80, to be charged for killing intruder claiming to be pregnant

    Monday, July 28 2014 5:00 AM EDT2014-07-28 09:00:02 GMT
    (CNN) -- Tom Greer says he fought back when he was attacked by intruders at his Southern California home. Then he got his gun and fired at them and they ran. The 80-year-old homeowner says one of the fleeing burglars, a woman, shouted, "I'm pregnant!" He shot her twice, killing her. The woman was not pregnant, Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office told CNN on Friday. The district attorney will decide whether Greer will face criminal charges. Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnel...
    (CNN) -- Tom Greer says he fought back when he was attacked by intruders at his Southern California home. Then he got his gun and fired at them and they ran. The 80-year-old homeowner says one of the fleeing burglars, a woman, shouted, "I'm pregnant!" He shot her twice, killing her. The woman was not pregnant, Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office told CNN on Friday. The district attorney will decide whether Greer will face criminal charges. Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnel...
  • Radar captures mayfly swarm on Mississippi River

    Radar captures mayfly swarm on Mississippi River

    Sunday, July 27 2014 6:16 PM EDT2014-07-27 22:16:59 GMT
    MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Mayflies have begun emerging from the Mississippi River in swarms that show up on radar like thunderstorms, coat roads and other surfaces, and leave behind a slimy mess.
    MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Mayflies have begun emerging from the Mississippi River in swarms that show up on radar like thunderstorms, coat roads and other surfaces, and leave behind a slimy mess.
  • 3 days on, no arrests in hunt for carjack killers

    3 days on, no arrests in hunt for carjack killers

    Sunday, July 27 2014 4:05 PM EDT2014-07-27 20:05:12 GMT
    PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The hunt for two Philadelphia carjackers who rammed their stolen SUV into a family, killing three children, has entered its third day, with investigators saying they're hopeful the suspects will soon be caught.
    PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The hunt for two Philadelphia carjackers who rammed their stolen SUV into a family, killing three children, has entered its third day, with investigators saying they're hopeful the suspects will soon be caught.
  • FOX25 Slideshows

Most Popular

Stories
Videos
Compiling list...
  • FOX 25 FeaturesMore>>

  • Tell Me Something Good

    Tell Me Something Good

    Tired of all the bad news? Looking for some good news? Tell Me Something Good, does just that! FOX 25's Mike Brooks finds the good in Oklahoma and tells you all about it.
    Tired of all the bad news? Looking for some good news? Tell Me Something Good, does just that! FOX 25's Mike Brooks finds the good in Oklahoma and tells you all about it.
  • Waste Watch

    Waste Watch

    How are your tax dollars being spent? FOX 25 Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments, or any groups, are using your money wisely... or wasting it.
    How are your tax dollars being spent? FOX 25 Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments, or any groups, are using your money wisely... or wasting it.
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by 

WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KOKH. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.