AIN Newsletter April 2017

Neuro-rehab Awareness

Ambassador Emma Gee's Visit to Rex Bionics' Headquarters in New Zealand

Stepping into the future and unlocking possibilities. Below Emma shares her experience with us in her own words...

I certainly ‘stepped into the future’ when I recently visited Rex Bionics' Headquarters in Auckland. This trip was arranged as part of my new AIN National Ambassador role. I was in New Zealand for work and it was a great opportunity to take time out to see first hand the amazing technology that I hope to endorse, raise awareness about and funds for, to enable Australians to continue their neuro recovery.

After acquiring a neurological condition, surviving a stroke at 24 and undergoing my own neuro recovery, I am so passionate about supporting AIN to raise awareness of the value of neuro-rehabilitation in one’s life. During my visit to Rex Bionics I was able to see firsthand the production and use of exoskeletons. Rex Bionics' exoskeletons are designed for people with mobility impairment of varying severity. With funding the AIN can purchase these devices and enable Australian communities to have access to technology-assisted exercise programs for neuro recovery. Although there are currently a number of clinical trials taking place, including AIN's world-first trial in Newcastle NSW, the hands-free robotic device is not yet readily accessible by Australians.

I learnt of the many benefits of this technology from Rex Bionics staff during my visit. However it was in observing Jarard (a Rex Bionics engineer who lives with a T5 spinal cord injury) transfer independently from his wheelchair to his custom fitted exoskeleton, that I struggled to hold back the tears. He demonstrated the huge possibilities available to users of Rex Bionics exoskeletons.

The advantages were clearly not solely physical. The positive impact that this piece of technology would have on each person’s entire life is phenomenal. Even trialing the exoskeleton myself, I caught a glimpse of how much easier my daily activities would be. My torso was supported and subsequently my balance issues were alleviated short term. Not only would this enable me to attempt and better perform so many tasks, but the boost in confidence that would result is unbelievable.

Although the benefits to the user were very obvious, the advantages extend to one's carers. Even observing a trained physiotherapist carrying out exercise sessions using the exoskeleton, demonstrated how this technology would significantly change their practice. It could support a person so they can focus on walking, or enable a person to relearn to weight bear. The holistic advantages of this device are incredible.

Speaking with many of Rex Bionics’ passionate staff, including Chief Technology Officer Richard Little was a very humbling experience. I saw first-hand their incredible devotion and heard many anecdotes of the ability of these exoskeletons to make what was taken from a person's life, possible again.

Rehabilitation is a human right. Over 700,000 Australians live with the physical, emotional and financial impact of neurological conditions. It’s so important that AIN’s neuro-rehabilitation projects like placing this amazing technology with researchers and community based neurological physiotherapists receive the public’s support. We also need to educate people to initiate change - to enable every person to be able to step into the future and unlock possibilities caused by neurological conditions.

Thank You For All Your Support

Thank you to every one who has generously supported AIN by donating funds, their time or expertise! We can't thank you enough!

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HELLEN Trial Recruiting Participants

Please help us continue to connect with people in the Hunter region of NSW who live with a stroke or acquired brain injury -

#Cessnock #Dungog #Gloucester #GreatLakes #LakeMacquarie #Maitland #Muswellbrook #Newcastle #PortStephens #Singleton #UpperHunter

More information about the HELLEN trial can be found here. To register someone for the trial please phone 02 80911246 or email

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Maximising NeuroRecovery by Enabling Access To

Technology-Assisted Exercise Programs

Funding Neuro-Rehab It's As Important As

Funding Research For A Cure