Paralyzed woman walks for 1st time in 3 years with robotic device

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A young woman was paralyzed after suffering a spinal cord injury in a horrific crash.

Now after years of hard work and rehabilitation Shannon Henry is taking her very first steps, walking with the help of a very special device.

"I haven't walked in three years," Henry said.

A car accident paralyzed Shannon Henry in 2012, and it's been day after day of needing assistance ever since.

"My fingers are paralyzed for the most, my legs are," she said. "But I have some good trunk mobility, my arms are definitely strong."

The 21-year-old is getting some help thanks to the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan at the Detroit Medical Center.

Shannon took her first steps in three years using "Rex," a robotic walking device. It is hands free and it's controlled solely by the person using it.

"Some of these patients would not be up on their feet, would not be taking steps if we did not have this technology available to us here," said Diane Patzer, a senior physical therapist.

Despite what she has gone through, Shannon has not lost her spirit or sense of humor.

"I think I grew," she said. "I think I did. I wasn't this tall. I was 5-foot 2 and now I'm like 5-foot-8.

And when it comes to future goals:

"To walk," she said. "Just to give as much back as I can and stay healthy. Get some abs.

"Just to be as independent as possible I guess. Those would be my goals to do whatever God wants me to do."

The Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan at the DMC is now the first rehab hospital in the country to let patients try this new technology in a rehab environment.