Bionic leg brace helps Heartland man walk after knee injury

Local man utilizes technology to regain mobility after knee injury
(Source: Hank Cavagnaro/KFVS)
(Source: Hank Cavagnaro/KFVS)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Taking a walk is something most of us take for granted. One local man is continuing to stroll through life with the help of a bionic leg brace called the C-Brace.

Joe Brashears hurt his knee working on a train in 1999.

"When I was descending the ladder my right foot went in a hole and my arms slipped off the grab irons and my left leg got hung in the ladder," said Brashears.

Immediately following that accident he had reconstructive knee surgery and wasn't able to walk very well. He was restrained to a wheelchair, which was a dark time for Brashears.

"I mean, along with the pain and everything, you get depression," he said, "which is something I never experienced."

"You know you could tell there was some depression," said Andy Stritzel, Brashears doctor. "You know, down on himself and thinking 'oh my gosh, is my life ever gonna get any better?'"

But all of that changed when he received his new brace on October 30 of 2015.

It helps control the swing of his leg allowing him to better walk and stand. Now he's sharing his story and has gotten back to his hobbies like wood carving, hunting, and baseball.

"You know I've been to a couple Cardinals baseball games since I've gotten this," said Brashears "That's something I haven't got to do in years."

"He looks forward to doing things on the weekend, spending time with his friends," said Stritzel.

"Everything's new and everything's opened up to me. If I want to go somewhere, I go."

Walking forward has really opened up his world, and he always keep's thinking on what's next.

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