Meet Simon Kindleysides. He's a 31-year-old Norfolk, UK, resident who loves to cycle. He's also paralyzed.
Two years ago, in April 2013, doctors diagnosed him with FND or Functional Neurological Disorder, which left him paralyzed from the waist down with little hope of walking again. Just to make things even more complicated, he also has a benign gloma brain tumor.
But thanks to new robotic technology, Kindleysides is able to walk again — just with some assistance. He took his first steps last week using a system that hooks up to his legs and pushes them forward, even though he still can't feel them. It's a product by the company Rex Biotics and it's the world's first "hands-free, self-supporting, independently controlled robot walking device."
"I used The Rex robotic suit which enabled me to walk, shuffle, turn and sit," Kindleysides wrote below the YouTube footage of him walking using the suit.
He points the joystick in the direction he wants to go and off he goes.
Here's how the magic happened:
The suit (and doctors) slowly let him stand up.
Then, the big moment happens — he takes his first steps.
He went on a show on the BBC network to show off his new device. He says that the moment above and walking on the show was a great feeling.
"To feel this tall, taking steps, is just incredible," he says.
Walking isn't the only thing Kindleysides can do, though. He still hasn't forgotten his roots as a cyclist and is currently raising money via a JustGiving crowdfunding account to bike from London to Paris this July. Proceeds he raises will go to his charity of choice, the Brain and Spine Foundation.
As of today, he's at a little over £2,800 pounds of his £3,000 goal.
"I decided to this massive challenge so I can show people no matter what happens in your life you can still succeed & help others," he wrote.
Watch the video of him walking for the first time below.