St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital in Bayside receives $50K grant for device that helps kids with mobility difficulties to walk independently

St. Mary's Hospital for Children 2022 quality award
Photo courtesy of St. Mary’s Hospital for Children

St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children on March 17 received a $50,000 grant from the Marilyn Lichtman Foundation for a new Trexo Plus device that will allow children with Cerebral Palsy and other mobility difficulties to experience independent walking.

The Trexo Plus device gently moves a child’s legs in a highly repetitive gait pattern. The goal of this exercise is to help the patient to improve even when the device is not in use.

“We are incredibly grateful to The Marilyn Lichtman Foundation for this grant, which will allow St. Mary’s to build on our therapeutic programs for patients with the addition of this new Trexo device,” St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children Director of Rehabilitation Tiffany Damers said. “This grant will provide our patients with mobility difficulties and their families with the hope that they can one day improve their movement skills and walk independently.”

In 2019, St. Mary’s Hospital for Children conducted a research study using the Trexo device, focusing on how they can help therapists and caregivers assist children who are not able to walk independently. The device can be used by children with varying degrees of disability, including Cerebral Palsy, Traumatic Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury, Hemiplegia, Paraplegia, Muscular Dystrophy, Neuromuscular Conditions, Stroke, Rett Syndrome and other conditions which impair lower body mobility.

In addition to the Trexo Plus device, the funds from the grant will also provide St. Mary’s with a WT-960 TRAN-SIT Car Transfer Simulator. This will allow the hospital to teach parents and caregivers how to safely transfer children with physical disabilities into vehicles. It allows families to practice car transfer skills in the safety of a clinical setting instead of a parking lot. The simulator includes functional doors and a wheelchair loading space to make it look and feel like a real car.

St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children has been the primary provider of long-term and rehabilitative care for New York’s most critically ill and injured children dating as far back as the 1870s. It is one of only a handful of organizations around the country dedicated to providing intensive rehabilitation, specialized care and education to children with special needs and life-limiting conditions.