Mercedes veteran receives device to help with spinal cord injuries

Mercedes veteran receives device to help with spinal cord injuries
3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago Sunday, May 26 2024 May 26, 2024 May 26, 2024 1:30 PM May 26, 2024 in News - Local

A young Mercedes veteran is getting back on his feet after a life-changing accident.

Recently, the federal government approved a reimbursement for a device that helps people with spinal cord injuries walk again.

Vicente Turrubiates, 26, remembers the moment his life changed forever; it was at 2 a.m. in 2021.

"I was on my way to go get something to eat at Whataburger," Turrubiates said. "On the way there, I had an accident, a rollover. I woke up in the hospital. I don't know what happened. I just woke up and that was it. I woke up and I was like this."

Turrubiates was paralyzed from the chest down after sustaining a thoracic four, or T-4, spinal cord injury.

The young army veteran was rushed to DHR Health to undergo surgery that same night.

Since then, he's gone through rounds of therapy over a span of four months. But recently, his physical therapist says he's made some big strides on his rehab journey.

"Transferring to a car without the use of a sliding board, to be able to get on and off the floor, albeit that with a little bit of assistance supervision to make sure he's safe doing it. But those were things that were out of the question a few months ago," DHR Neurotherapy Physical Therapist Gabriel Lopez said.

That's all thanks to his personal indego exoskeleton. It lets him continue his rehab at home.

The centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved a reimbursement rate of nearly $91,000 for the home use of the indego exoskeleton.

This helps eligible individuals with spinal cord injuries have access to this at a much lower cost.

It's something Turrubiates wouldn't have been able to afford if it wasn't for his Veterans Affairs benefits.

The young veteran encourages anyone with a severe spinal cord injury to talk to their physician to see if this is an option for them.

Watch the video above for the full story.

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