An American hero is getting a new lease on life.
US Army veteran Richard Neider has regained his ability to walk thanks to new robotic exoskeleton technology.
The Arizona vet was paralyzed due to a spinal injury he suffered while serving in Iraq in 2005, which completely wiped out the use of his legs.
The new FDA-approved technology, developed in Israel, helped Neider take his first steps in more than a decade, which he considered an “amazing experience,” as he shared during an appearance on “Fox & Friends” on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022.
“The second that I got to stand up and look everybody eye to eye … There’s not many words to use,” he said.
The exoskeleton is strapped at the knees, the thighs and around the waist, Neider explained.
A box at the back of the contraption holds the device’s programming and battery.
Once strapped in, the technology can be operated through a watch or buttons on the side of the leg that begins leg movement and allows the operator to steer.
“The machine is doing all the work. You’re just along for the ride,” he said.
Neider mentioned that military service members know what they’re signing up for and are willing to “write that check for the ultimate sacrifice.”
“So, I’m just grateful I get to do a lot of cool things,” he said.
“And I’m appreciative that I’m here.”
The veteran said that being disabled is more of a mental struggle than it is physical — so being given the ability to walk again is “beyond words.”
“I smile absolutely every time I’m in that machine,” he said.
“And I get to walk side by side with my wife.”
The exoskeleton will be Neider’s to keep after he finishes his initial training.
The technology is also being considered by the Veterans Administration for wider use among veterans.