PLYMOUTH, Minn — A new leg brace called the C-Brace is helping a 70 year old Polio survivor regain his independence.
"My wife would always walk at my side or right behind me to ensure that if I begin to stumble she can catch me, or at least give me some support," said Phillip Schaengold.
After 45 years of marriage, Schaengold is finally confident walking on his own.
"The C-Brace is able to sense if I'm losing balance and if it needs to stiffen to ensure the knee does not bend. It makes your whole life totally different, " said Schaengold.
Doctors say Schaengold contracted Polio when he was 18 months old and has suffered many falls and injures since then. Hanger Clinic fitted Schaengold for the leg brace.
"The device is now half the weight of what the original was, and the size is now half the size of the original version, which has allowed people the freedom to wear clothes more comfortable," said Chris Toelle, an East Zone Orthotic Specialist.
The device also senses when a person is walking backwards or sideways, making daily tasks easier.
"For example, now when I'm at the refrigerator door if I step back, this brace begins functioning the way it's supposed to," said Schaengold.
"We can walk with our grandchildren. We can walk with our friends. I can fall behind 10-15 yards and no one has to worry about me," added Schaengold.
Doctors say the C-Brace can also be used for people with spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and Multiple Sclerosis.