Kevin Ogilvie thought he would never walk again after he was left paralyzed from the chest-down in an explosion while serving in Afghanistan in 2012.
Ogilvie, a member of the Royal Air Force Regiment, was injured when the vehicle he was driving hit an improvised explosive device. Ogilvie was left with seven broken and three crushed vertebrae.
In spite of his injury, Ogilvie got to walk again last month — with some high-tech assistance. At a rehabilitation hospital in Scotland, Ogilvie was able to try out new robot legs made by Rex Bionics.
“It was really cool, but also really strange, to be walking again after so long,” Ogilvie told The Scotsman Newspaper. “It was weird to use, but weird in a good sense, having no feeling or control below my chest made seeing me moving even weirder.”
The creators of Rex Bionics say the device won’t exactly help people run a marathon, but can help people connect in small ways.
“They don’t’ want to go any faster. … They want to get back at eye level,” said Rex Bionics spokeswoman Debra Leeves. “It’s small thing — everything always happens above their heads.”
The robotic legs were part of a demonstration, but Kevin Ogilvie’s father Phil Ogilvie said he hopes his son will be able to use them again.
“The device is still in the development stage but it’s hoped that in four or five years it will be fully operational,” he told The Scotsman.
Ogilvie and his brother are now working to raise £10,000 for the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund and the Soldiers Sailors and Airmen’s Families Association by the end of the year as a way to thank the charities for their help after Kevin’s injuries.