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Bioness L300 Foot Drop News - Today Show segment: full segment

Description

Bioness L300 foot drop (drop foot) technology was featured on a Today Show (full segment). Jonna P. was a college basketball player when she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Since her diagnosis, Jonna used the Bioness L300 to climb Diamond Head Crater in Hawaii, participated in a number of MS bike rides across Wyoming and even had it on when she walked down the aisle to get married.

Tags

L300, footdrop, dropfoot, foot drop, drop foot, News, Today Show, MS, multiple sclerosis, Jonna

Transcription

MEREDITH VIEIRA

Back now at 8:18 with a story about how one courageous woman is reclaiming her life from a debilitating disease. Step by step, she’s overcoming some of the limiting effects of multiple sclerosis with the help of loved ones and a revolutionary electronic device.

NARRATOR

The wind blows hard in Wyoming, yet Jonna Patton is walking without her cane. It’s a huge step for the 36 year old former athlete whose life changed dramatically when she was just nineteen.

JONNA P.

I love the game of basketball. My dream was to play college ball. I did it.

JONNA’s MOTHER

I don’t think we missed a game. It was…it was so much fun.

JONNA P.

Then, it was my freshman year. I’m on the court running down…I had this intense feeling of tingling. It just was crazy…from head to toe. I couldn’t feel the ball with my right hand. My right hand, my right shoulder…everything started to get tight. As I got right under the basket, I had one thought. Am I dying?

DAWN TRUJILLO teammate and friend

She had kind of collapsed to the floor, and she had a seizure. She’d never been sick before, never had any problem. It was a very scary time.

JONNA P.

I had two hospitalizations, three misdiagnoses, five and half years before I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

JONNA’s MOTHER

As a mom, I started crying, and Jonna’s like, “No. We’re not going to do this! We’re not going to cry. We have to be strong.”

NARRATOR

Jonna took time off. She travelled. She became a social worker but her neurological condition worsened.

JONNA P.

In 2000, I started the medication. I needed the help. My legs weren’t working right. I couldn’t run anymore. No, I was an athlete. It was my life. It was devastating, and I had to learn to accept it.

NARRATOR

Then ten years after her diagnosis, Jonna started using a new electronic stimulating device, the Bioness L300, consisting of a cuff, a heel sensor, and a wireless remote controlled by Jonna. With the device off, her balance is clearly shaky. But when she turns it on, the results are literally uplifting.

JONNA P.

Totally amazing! I can walk faster now with the device. I can kind of jog with the device.

AMANDA BARNHART, Physical Therapist for Neuro Rehabilitation Services

Every time she takes a step, it automatically knows when to trigger the electricity based on the heel sensor. So, it’s a huge improvement in technology.

NARRATOR

Having the device helped Jonna when she took an even bigger step down the aisle at her wedding this past summer.

JONNA’s DAD

I’d done it once before with my oldest daughter (gulp),…the two best days of my life!

JONNA P.

On my honeymoon, we hiked up Diamond Head Crater, and I would have never have thought of doing that before.

TOM PATTON Jonna’s husband

Wow! Just the confidence that this thing gave her to be able to make that climb! There’s Jonna, who climbed that whole thing!

JONNA P.

I felt free, and the view was phenomenal.

DAWN TRUJILLO

She can actually shoot a round now. She’s riding a bike, and she hasn’t been able to do that in years.

TOM PATTON

We bowl in a league now, together. She loves it.

JONNA P.

I call it my bionic leg, but I haven’t fallen since I’ve gotten that. And…that’s huge! I have part of my life back.

MEREDITH VIEIRA

And Jonna Patton is here now with her husband,Tom. D. Michael O’Dell, who is professor of clinical, rehabilitative medicine at New York Presbyterian, Weill Cornell Medical Center. Good morning to all of you.

JONNA P.

Good morning.

MEREDITH VIEIRA

You know, Jonna, you said in the piece that you kind of jog. You jog better than me now! To see, to see the difference from before and after with this device. And, I know you’re such a fan now, you’ve spoken at a couple of medical conferences about this Bioness device.

When did you start using it? How long have you been using it? And what’s the stimulation feel like?

JONNA P.

I have been using it for approximately two years. And…wow! It feels like an intense tingling feeling right here where the electrodes are. And, it’s only seconds. I mean it doesn’t hurt or anything. But, it’s like an intense tingling, like when your foot’s fallen asleep, and it’s coming back awake.

MEREDITH VIEIRA

That sensation.

JONNA P.

Yeah.

MEREDITH VIEIRA

And then do you wear it all day long?

JONNA P.

I don’t have to anymore. That’s..uh.. I’ve, I don’t know, rebuilt myself, built the muscles in my leg.

MEREDITH VIEIRA

So you retrained the leg, so you don’t have to have the device if you don’t need it, at least for certain times in the day?

JONNA P.

Right. Right.

MEREDITH VIEIRA

So are you still going to physical therapy, then?

JONNA P.

I don’t have to go all the time. I… I go when I need to get it recalibrated, you know, something adjusted on it.

MEREDITH VIEIRA

Doctor, to me this is such an amazing story. I know you are not her doctor, but you’ve seen a lot of other patients who have had success with this device.

MICHAEL O’DELL, Professor of Clinical Rehabilitative Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical Center

Quite a few. Foot drop is actually quite common in persons with multiple sclerosis. It’s really the inability to raise the ankle and toes while you’re walking. As Jonna could tell you, the toes would clip the street or sidewalk, and it would make it more likely to fall.

MEREDITH VIEIRA

So how does this device work?

MICHAEL O’DELL, Professor of Clinical Rehabilitative Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical Center

It’s actually clever, the Bioness L300. It’s a small sensor that sets on the heel. It senses when the heel is lifting off the ground, about to take a step, and wirelessly communicates with a stimulating device that sits just below the knee, as Jonna has, and stimulates the nerve that actually makes the foot and toes go up. It senses when the heel hits the ground, turns the device off, comes back down, and makes it easier for people to walk.

MEREDITH VIEIRA

Who is a good candidate for this kind of device? Can anybody with MS use this or is there?

MICHAEL O’DELL, Professor of Clinical Rehabilitative Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical Center

No, uh, there are a couple of points there that are important to make. One is this is not a treatment for the underlying multiple sclerosis. It’s treatment of a symptom. The second is that this device works for persons that have a spinal cord and brain injury or damage. Foot drop you can also see from back surgery, from slipped discs, from peripheral neuropathy. The device does not work on them. The primary populations are stroke and multiple sclerosis. The third is that the device works best for folks who have fairly good range of motion at the ankle, pretty good strength at the knee and the hip, and this is not a device that takes somebody from wheelchair to a community ambulator. It’s something that helps somebody who’s walking pretty well walk much better.

MEREDITH VIEIRA

Okay, so, you have to be walking fairly well with a cane.

MICHAEL O’DELL, Professor of Clinical Rehabilitative Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical Center

With or without an assistive device.

MEREDITH VIEIRA

And cost-wise, is this pretty prohibitive or?

MICHAEL O’DELL, Professor of Clinical Rehabilitative Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical Center

The device can actually be rented for about $500 a month. The cost of this device is about $6,000. Medicare currently does not cover this. It’s a variable among the insurance companies. Some cover it. Many do not.

MEREDITH VIEIRA

Many do not. And yours does, I take it?

JONNA P.

It doesn’t.

MEREDITH VIEIRA

It does not?

JONNA P.

It does not.

MEREDITH VIEIRA

But it’s worth it?

JONNA P.

Oh, every penny, every penny.

MEREDITH VIEIRA

Tom, you met Jonna before, before she got this device. She told you on your second date that she had MS, so you knew the challenges she was facing. How has she changed?

TOM P.

I didn’t understand MS at the beginning, but it became very obvious when I watched her walk. We couldn’t even walk through the mall to begin with. And, we had to think really hard about what we were going to do, you know, because she couldn’t walk very far; but since she’s used this thing, we’re hiking up mountains now. One of our goals is, we want to hike up to the top of Pike’s Peak one day. I don’t know if we will be able to do it. It’s quite a hike, but…

MEREDITH VIEIRA

Jonna, you’re such a show-off, I’m telling you! I bet you will. I bet you will. It’s a good goal to have.

JONNA P.

Well, I’m glad to do it. Set a goal, you know. Got a goal. Make it come true.

MEREDITH VIEIRA

Jonna and Tom, thank you so much. Dr. O’Dell, thank you, as well.

XXX

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