An Exoskeleton Suit owned by the Donegal-based No Barriers Foundation featured in a main event of the World Congress of Sports and Exercise Medicine last weekend.
Sports and medical professionals from all over the world attended the international conference in Dublin to hear from renowned international experts in their field.
One such expert was Donegal’s Dr Frank Fogarty, who is steering the medical side of the No Barriers Foundation.
No Barriers is a not for profit organisation set up in Donegal two years ago with the aim of bringing world-class neurological equipment to the northwest.
Last year the charity successfully acquired the third Exoskeleton suit accessible to patients in Ireland through a mix of public fundraising and LEADER funding.
There are presently 14 people in Donegal making use of the Exoskeleton, to date with a total of 56,000 steps taken.
The Eksobionics Exoskeleton Suit was the main focus of Dr Fogarty’s presentation at the congress. The Clonmany and Buncrana-based GP led a workshop titled ‘Breaking Down Barriers’ Is spinal rehabilitation possible in the community setting using the Eksobionics Exoskeleton Suit?‘
Dr Fogarty’s talk highlighted the fact that No Barriers ‘Taking Positive Steps’ campaign is an effective and reproducible way of acquiring world-class neuro rehab equipment and delivering a self-sustainable service to the public at an affordable cost.
Frank was joined by his daughter Siofra Fogarty, who demonstrated the suit alongside Ronan Langan, Physiotherapist in the National Rehabilitation Unit.
Siofra also a Chartered Physiotherapist works alongside Irish explorer and paralysis activist Mark Pollock in Trinity College Dublin.
Mark Pollock is carrying out research into the effectiveness of the Exoskeleton suit for treating spinal injury and investigating future avenues for progression in this field.
The Mark Pollock Trust strives to find a cure for paralysis and promotes universal access to Eksobionics Exoskeletons for paralysed people, stroke patients, those with MS and other neurological conditions.
The trust is supported by an annual Run in the Dark fundraiser. Donegal people can take part in this global movement at a run/walk in Gweedore on 14th November.
This is the 4th time the pop-up event has been run in Donegal, with €12,567 raised locally over the years.
The 5K route is wheelchair accessible and participants of all ages are welcome.
For more information visit: www.runinthedark.org/gweedore
The No Barriers Foundation is now operating the Exoskeleton suit with people in Donegal who have been diagnosed with spinal injury, stroke, MS, and brain injury amongst others.
They hope to roll out a GP referral scheme in the coming months creating a strong link between the Foundation and access to this cutting-edge equipment through the North West’s GPs.
More information on No Barriers Foundation can be found at www.nobarriers.ieTags: