WATCH: Quadriplegic woman walks again for first time in four years

2018-11-02 13:54
Soozi Dinnie. (Photo: Supplied)

Soozi Dinnie. (Photo: Supplied)

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WATCH: Bakkie careens down Bo-Kaap hill, narrowly misses woman

2018-11-02 11:47

A woman narrowly escaped injury as a bakkie came careening down a hill in the Bo-Kaap. Video footage of the incident surfaced online recently. WATCH.WATCH

Four years ago Soozi Dinnie and two children were praying when a bakkie hit and dragged her, leaving her with a broken back.

Soozi’s been wheelchair-bound ever since and never dreamt that one day she’d be standing upright again – much less putting one foot in front of the other.

But that’s exactly what she did recently – with the help of a bionic suit she managed to walk 84 steps.

“It was hard,” says Soozi who lives near Somerset West in the Western Cape.

“I developed a pressure sore from the suit but as soon as it’s healed, I’m doing it again. It’s incredibly good exercise.”

Soozi had been camping with friends and family near Rawsonville in the Boland when the accident happened.

Two children in the group had been arguing so Soozi took them to a spot near the river on the campground to pray with them.

When the bakkie hit her, she was dragged under it.

“Everything was broken,” she told YOU at the time. “Every rib in my body was broken in two or three places.

“My lungs were practically destroyed. My shoulder blade was broken into tiny pieces and doctors said they’d never seen a spine that badly damaged.”

She was given a 1% chance of survival. But miraculously she survived – albeit as a quadriplegic.

She’s been in constant pain ever since and has only 30% of her lung capacity.

“A pulmonologist told me I’d never even be able to take one step because my lungs had been permanently damaged,” Soozi says. “And that I’d break my paralysed legs. But I’ve proven them wrong.”

About a year ago she started exercising at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa in Newlands, Cape Town. There she was introduced to the bionic suit.

She says the sensation of walking in the suit, which weighs about 30kg, is very different to regular walking. “I clearly remember what walking feels like and I often dream I’m walking.

“I think it’ll get easier as I do it more. I think it can give many people hope that they too will be able to walk in a bionic suit. Especially those who are paralysed from the chest down.”

Read more on:    cape town

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