Summer of 2003, it was lovely day in Racine, Wisconsin, on the shore of Lake Michigan. As the weather was perfect for a boat outing, Rob decided to take a dive into the cool water. Unfortunately, the waters were shallow in the area and Rob got seriously injured.

At the nearest hospital, he was diagnosed with spinal cord injury, which left him almost completely quadriplegic from the chest down.

“[With Lokomat ®] I had the chance to feel and see myself up and walking again. It was the most emotional and inspirational moment in my life… all the sudden I had hope again. It was the turning point of my recovery and the beginning of my life’s mission.”
– Robert Heitz

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“I remember the doctor at the first hospital I was taken to telling my family and me that there was a 95% chance that I would never walk again.”

Episode 2: THE INJURY

Waiting and waiting at the hospital. It was so long. We did not know what was going on. Then a doctor told us that Rob had broken his neck. “I am thinking this is going to be this forever for him.”

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“At that time, Rob was a complete quadriplegic,” relates Dr. David Chen, Section Chief of Spinal Cord Injury, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. And then, hope came at a roll of the dice, as Rob was selected to be part of a clinical trial with the first Lokomat in the USA.


“It was very exciting working on Lokomat device for the first time and looking at myself in the mirror. And for the first time I felt that maybe I’ll be walking again. It was such an ispirational experience.”

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