Patients recovering from stroke, traumatic brain and spine injuries will now have a leg up in their recovery journeys, thanks to a $350,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities to Barrow Neurological Foundation.

An estimated 13.8 million Americans live with a disability caused by a brain or spinal cord injury, and each year, Barrow records more than 30,000 outpatient visits in the Neuro-Rehabilitation Center.

With this gift from Thunderbirds Charities, Barrow will acquire four cutting-edge devices for its Neuro-Robotics Rehabilitation Center, which provides personalized therapy to deliver better outcomes in less time. These robotics include:

• A body weight-supported treadmill that uses augmented and virtual reality to simulate challenges in everyday life, such as walking a golf course.

• A robot-assisted shoulder and arm rehabilitation device with intelligent gravity compensation and virtual reality to work on skills needed for daily function.

• A sensor-based device used to work on balance and posture training.

• An interactive surface for upper extremity, cognitive and sensory retraining to allow patients to practice motor skills. 

Barrow has been at the forefront in the use of robotics, which mimic normal human movements and can be programmed to support or challenge a patient’s abilities. Many of these devices incorporate an interactive component, creating a game-like experience for the patient to conquer.

These new robotics will help Barrow patients relearn how to stand, walk and perform skills that many take for granted, while also providing our therapists with more advanced tools to monitor progress,” said Katie Cobb, president of Barrow Neurological Foundation. “We want to thank Thunderbirds Charities for providing these life-changing tools for our patients’ continued recovery.”

“Barrow’s Neuro-Robotics Rehabilitation Center is making a positive, profound impact on the health of patients recovering from severe and debilitating injuries, and we are honored to be able to support such a great mission,” said Carlos Sugich, President of Thunderbirds Charities.