CLICK HERE for the latest COVID-19 information.

A Modern-Day Pioneer

When you first meet Kevin Oldt, you quickly realize that he is one-of-a-kind. Inspiring, adventurous and hopeful about his future, Kevin is one of the first Good Shepherd patients to ever use the Ekso, a wearable, battery-powered, bionic robot that allows people with lower-extremity paralysis or weakness to stand and walk.

Kevin was left paralyzed from the waist down after suffering traumatic injuries in a snowmobile accident 10 years ago. When he was first injured, Kevin investigated what researchers were working on to help people with injuries like his. And he readily admits that back then, the Ekso sounded a little too much like science fiction to ever become reality.

But, that hard-to-imagine robotic technology not only became real for Kevin, it’s proving to have benefits far beyond the expectations of medical experts for many other Good Shepherd patients too.

Thanks in great part to our loyal donors, Good Shepherd is recognized as a leader in the use of technology in rehabilitation.  In fact, it was one of only three health care organizations in the United States to first receive the Ekso. 

One of the reasons Kevin is so inspiring to others is that he considers one of his most important roles to be as “pioneer.” In the 10 years he’s been a patient at Good Shepherd, he has tested other technologies with the hope that someday, he might be able to stand and walk again. Some of the technologies were helpful to him or to other patients, but nothing like what the Ekso is doing today. And that is why he is so passionate about the possibilities the Ekso brings to both spinal cord injury and stroke patients. He will be the first to tell you that this amazing technology has changed the direction of his life.

Kevin encountered many challenges during his recovery, feeling hopeless that his life had changed so dramatically from what it had been before.  But today, he is hopeful when he describes how it feels to stand, walk, and look people in the eye once again!

This is an extraordinary time for rehabilitative medicine, and Good Shepherd’s many friends and supporters who donate so generously to help change the lives of our patients every day. 

Watch a remarkable video of the progress he’s made. And thank you for helping to make dreams like Kevin’s become a reality.