Paralyzed Graduate Walks Across Stage Using A Robotic Exoskeleton

One of the most significant times in our life is the day that we graduate. Unfortunately, for some, that day is not as it should be.

Such was the case for Khalil Watson, who was shot in the neck in 2016 while in high school. As a result of the spinal cord injury, he was paralyzed.

Photo: Instagram/@sheltering_arms_institute

In speaking with NBC 12, Watson referred to it as a journey with a lot of ups and downs. After being shot, he had to learn how to eat, speak, and breathe on his own.

For his high school graduation, he watched from the hospital bed. He said it was difficult and hard to deal with but it did make it easier because he could attend virtually. He was still hoping that somehow, one day, he would walk the stage on his own graduation.

That day came when he received his associate’s degree from Reynolds Community College in Virginia.

Photo: Instagram/@sheltering_arms_institute

Although Watson was still paralyzed from the neck down, he was able to walk the stage thanks to a wearable robotic exoskeleton.

Ekso Bionics was responsible for the design, along with therapists from Sheltering Arms Institute. He was able to walk across the stage in his cap and gown, accept his diploma, and turn to the audience as they rose to their feet and applause.

Prior to this time, Watson had to work a lot on his independence and mobility. He became enveloped in the education process and eventually, he began to see the future clearly as he wanted to help others.

Photo: Instagram/@sheltering_arms_institute

As a result of his desire to help others with their problems, he enrolled at Reynolds Community College. His passion for helping people allowed him to build his career in social work.

It’s also his passion that helped him to move forward to achieve something great. Physical therapists helped him along the way, as did his robotic exoskeleton.

It was still a lot of work to get ready for graduation and he practice for two weeks to master it.

Sheltering Arms Institute went on Instagram to post congratulations to Watson. Now that he has achieved this, who knows what he’ll be able to achieve in the future?

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