Hadassah's new 'Locomat' helps paralyzed IDF soldier

Combat soldier paralyzed by Guillain – Barre Syndrome determined to regain ability move, aided by 'Locomat' robotic walking system.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Dvir on Locomat
Dvir on Locomat
Hadassah spokesperson

Combat Soldier Dvir Teitelbaum, 21, was serving on Israel’s northern border when he couldn’t shake his tiredness. Within a few days he could barely move. The IDF physician diagnosed Teitelbaum with Guillain – Barre Syndrome, a rare disorder that initially causes muscle weakness and then paralysis as the immune system attacks the nervous system.

Teitelbaum was hospitalized at a hospital in the north of Israel where his condition rapidly deteriorated. His family transferred him to Hadassah Hospital to be treated by experts and so Teitelbaum would be close to his family in Jerusalem.

At Hadassah, Teitelbaum underwent a procedure to clean out the blood in his system, improving his condition. But, he was still paralyzed.

Progress for Teitelbaum came with the use of Hadassah’s new “Locomat” robotic walking system. The latest edition was recently donated by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, led by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. “Whatever the patients cannot do such as lifting their legs, is done by the robot,” said Dr. Isabella Schwartz, Director of Rehabilitative Services at Hadassah Mount Scopus. “Sensors record the exertion and the patient’s independent movements. Robotic support and weight relief can be reduced to promote or extend existing residual movements.”

“Now I am able to move my feet and hands,” said Teitelbaum. “There’s still a long way ahead, but I plan on fighting to regain my ability to move and I am going to celebrate progress – however small.”

The Locomat robotic system was dedicated at a recent ceremony at Hadassah Mount Scopus. “Today, we decided that you are going to regain all the abilities you lost,” said Professor Zeev Rotstein, Director General of Hadassah Medical Organization, to Teitelbaum,. “I know you come from a combat unit. You are doing great work with the therapists at Hadassah. Keep going and practice every day on our Locomat. You will get there."