Not many people endure in a lifetime what Gracie Evans has gone through as a child. At just six months old, Gracie suffered a major stroke that impaired the left side of her body, making it difficult to walk, let alone ride a bike without training wheels like she so desperately wanted.
She and her family knew they had a long journey ahead to reclaim her mobility. Our Ability team, including lead practitioner, Tyler Cook, CO, MPO, took to their side and embarked on that journey together.
Progress Made Step-by-Step
Gracie spent long hours in physical therapy. Patients who’ve suffered similar strokes have a difficult time lifting their foot as they walk, which can lead to them unsafely dragging it along.
Traditional children’s orthotic braces offer a temporary fix. But they won’t help Gracie’s muscles become stronger and her body won’t learn the proper way to walk unsupported.
They also require her to wear special shoes. “She’s never worn flip-flops, cute sneakers, or sandals,” says Tori Evans, Gracie’s mom.
We wanted to introduce her and her family to a more cutting-edge solution — one that could make a lasting impact on her movement, and more importantly, her childhood.
With the WalkAide, Possibility Bloomed
The WalkAide orthotic brace offers unparalleled mobility enhancement for adults and children like Gracie. And when she first tried it out, her family almost couldn’t believe the result.
“The difference was amazing,” her mom says. “When I saw her walk down the hall for the first time, I cried.”
The drastic and instantaneous improvement seems like magic. But it’s actually the result of the WalkAide stimulating the leg muscle, which then sends a signal up to Gracie’s brain to pick up her foot.
And because the device depends on activating her muscles, she can become stronger, teach her body the proper way to walk, and eventually gain more independence.
Reclaiming a Childhood
With the help of her WalkAide, Gracie has been able to do the things she’s always wanted to.
“I’ve just wanted this for her for so long. She’s never known any difference, but I’ve known the difference,” says her mom.
Gracie still rides her bike with training wheels. She hasn’t had much time with her WalkAide to practice yet. But if her unrelenting spirit teaches you nothing else, believe that it won’t be long before she’s zipping down the street on two wheels, catching up to the parts of her childhood she missed.