PHOENIX — Patients of St. Joseph’s hospital in Phoenix had a visitor from outer space Wednesday morning. Well, sort of.
Astronaut Rick Linnehan visited the hospital’s Neuro Rehab Center to promote NASA’s Destination Station Awareness Campaign.
“It’s a NASA project that’s tied in with the Fiesta Bowl Commission and the Challenger Centers here in Phoenix and all over the country and emphasizes education,” said Linnehan.
St. Joseph’s Doctor Christina Kwasnica, one of the nation’s top experts in physical- and neurorehabilitation, treats patients with the most serious and complex brain and spinal cord injuries. She described a therapy machine that a patient was exercising on while talking with Linnehan.
“It’s actually called a Litegate,” said Kwasnica. “It’s a way of taking body weight off of somebody and helping them walk on a treadmill. The original robotic-associated device like this actually came from the space program. This is a much easier-to-use device than that but it allows patients who can’t fully support themselves to work on walking and walking correctly.”
Linnehan said that Litegate is similar to the zero-gravity training that the astronauts get. He said that a lot of the same things that happen to astronauts mimic a lot of the neurological and muscular skeletal problems that older people have problems with.
“We can use a lot of what we learn in space with the astronauts, in terms of muscle and bone, to bring it back and help people here on the ground,” he said.
Both NASA and the hospital said the machine is one way of showing how the space program helps people here on Earth.
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past