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11 Jul, 2009 06:31

Orthopedic “armor” invention helps Russia’s disabled

There is new hope for people who have been paralyzed with the invention of a so-called orthopedic “armor”, which is defying doctors’ prognoses by allowing patients to both stand and walk.

This piece of sculpture is designed to fit its customer perfectly. Made of a plastic-like material and placed around a steel skeleton, the simple device is called “armor for the disabled”.

Just one small step contradicts everything the doctors have been telling Aleksey Filatov ever since he was paralyzed in a car accident.

He still can’t feel his feet, but with his armor he can walk on them.

“Unlike similar devices this device is very light and it doesn’t take a lot of time to put it on. It helps to get into the car and use the wheelchair much less. It can also be worn under trousers,” Aleksey says.

The invention is the brainchild of another disabled man, also called Aleksey. Eight years of being confined to bed left him determined to prove the doctors wrong.

“The armor is not going to help you jump or play football. But they can allow you to do some things which were previously inaccessible. To allow people to stand up is very important. It helps to solve the psychological problems of the disabled,” says Aleksey Nalogin, inventor of the armor for the disabled.

Now his armor is available to anyone who needs it. Aleksey's invention is already helping children, and the doctors say the armor has shown impressive results.

“The beauty of Aleksey’s invention is that each piece of armor is handmade to fit the patient perfectly. After production the armor is adjusted on the patient several times to guarantee the best medical effect. That’s something similar devices made on the production line cannot do,” says sports doctor Dmitry Kiselev.

Aleksey says being disabled in Russia is difficult. Public transport and streets are not fully equipped for those who are physically impaired, but the inventor says this armor is a step towards making Russia disabled-friendly.