Jon Le Galloudec22/09/2014
Paralysed former soldier who was told seven years ago he would never walk again can now run thanks to Ottobock clinic in Minworth, Sutton Coldfield.
Former Lance Corporal Jon Le Galloudec, aged 33, was left paralysed from the waist down after being struck while on a tour of duty in Basra.
The bullet ripped through his gut and kidney and following a six-hour operation he was flown to Birmingham's Selly Oak Hospital for further treatment. He then spent months in rehabilitation and was told he would never walk again.
But he has now become the first person in the UK to test out a pioneering bionic leg splint called 'Momentum', which has been launched by the Ottobock clinic in Minworth.
"These new carbon fibre orthotics from Ottobock use dynamic energy to allow me to run again," said Jon, who lives in Wiltshire.
"I was told after my injury that I would never walk again; now with the support of Help for Heroes and these amazing orthotics I'm able to do so much more, which is an incredible feeling."
Jon, a Help for Heroes ambassador, was fitted with conventional splints in 2010 after regaining some movement in his legs before eventually learning to stand, but the devices did not fit him well and would cut and bruise his legs, meaning he spent a lot of time in his wheelchair.
He was then funded by the charity to be the first to test out Momentum, which works by storing energy in the carbon fibre frame. This energy is then returned as the user steps, acting like a spring to support the movement.
With two of the devices - made from strong, lightweight carbon fibre material which slide into his shoes and round his legs below the knee - he is now able to stand up, walk tall, run and keep his balance for the first time in seven years.
He even competed in the recent Invictus Games, winning two bronze medals in the men's 100m and 50m freestyle events.
Help for Heroes will now analyse his progress in a bid to convince the Government to fund other paralysed patients using the same advanced technology.
Kevin Green, Orthotist at Ottobock in Minworth, said; "It's incredible to see how far Lance Corporal Jon Le Galloudec has come on with our new orthotics. He is walking stronger, his pain has eased and the smile on his face is wonderful to see.
"These devices are custom made, they're designed to fit him perfectly and provide him with the support he needs on a daily basis and we look forward to seeing him go from strength to strength."Back to all