Thanks to a $60,000 donation by Hadassah International Israel (HII), a boost of NASA-level technology has taken rehabilitation therapy to a new level at Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus.
Called the “AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill®,” the new machine–the only one of its kind in Jerusalem–is being used intensively by wounded soldiers and injured civilians who cannot stand on their feet by themselves. “It’s a game-changer,” says Nirit Rotem-Lehrer, head of physiotherapy services at Hadassah. “It has allowed us to reduce, almost to zero, any pressure from the patient’s body weight, giving him or her the ability to stand almost immediately after surgery. It also facilitates faster progress than we have seen until now,” she explains.
Aviad, age 20, was severely injured in his hip joint during army service. Over eight months, he underwent a variety of treatments. Then therapists at Hadassah Mt. Scopus put him on the Anti-Gravity Treadmill. “Imagine my excitement when they told me I could run again,” said Aviad. “They ‘lowered’’ my weight and, like a miracle, I started to run. What a wonderful surprise after eight months without being able to do what a normal 20-year-old can do.”
Aviad recalls: “Before I was wounded, I was almost a fanatic athlete and a combat soldier with high motivation. The transformation to a person without physical activity drove me crazy.” Although he says, “it’s not a picnic to do physical therapy,” he emphasizes that “my success in running despite the condition of my leg, allows me to increase my endurance, and that’s what rehabilitation means. I am doing better all the time and this improves not only my physical condition, but also my mood.”
Surrounded by a protective shield while standing on the treadmill, patients who have severe limitations in walking, muscle weakness and/or balance issues benefit from the machine. Those with sports injuries are using the treadmill as well, including Jerusalem’s sports teams. “If you look on the internet,” Mrs. Rotem-Lehrer brings out, “you can see a clip of Real Madrid soccer megastars using the machine, as well as top-seeded tennis players. Now this best-in-the-world technology is available to the people of Jerusalem and surrounding areas. Results are excellent. It’s no joke that we call this the NASA of equipment.”
Dr. Steven Jeremy Scheiner, a senior physician in Hadassah’s Department of Anesthesiology, is recovering from complex spine surgery. He relates that the new machine has improved his condition “amazingly,” noting that “this is not just my opinion; it’s my medical judgment.” He adds: “Half an hour on the machine is far more efficient than a regular 90-minute work-out.”
“We are proud to be seeing the result of our efforts in improving the lives of soldiers and civilians,” relates HII Board of Trustees Chair Dalia Itzik, who is a past speaker and past president of the Israeli Knesset. HII raised the money to fund the treadmill through galas. Read about their events at http://hadassahinternational.org/saturday-night-lively-hadassah-international-israel-gala-wows-israeli-orthodox-community/ and http://hadassahinternational.org/vast-media-coverage-on-the-first-hadassah-international-israel-gala-dinner/
Read about the treadmill in the Israeli media at http://www.kolhair.co.il/
Hear more about the treadmill at http://www.alterg.com/products/anti-gravity-treadmills/m320-f320/professional-pt#