NI manufacturer helps children to walk

Published Monday, 24 March 2014
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A Northern Ireland company has manufactured a mother's invention that she hopes could give many children with impaired motor skills the chance to walk for the first time.

NI manufacturer helps children to walk
Children test out the Upsee at Monday's launch. (© PA)

Debby Elnatan came up with the idea of the special harness as she was trying to help her young son, who has cerebral palsy, to practice walking after his therapist told her that he "didn't know what his legs are".

"This is a very difficult thing for a mother to hear, so I started to walk him everywhere, but of course I was on my hands and knees or I was bent over," she explained at the launch.

Sick of the uncomfortable method of training him, she decided to come up with another way and invented the 'Firefly Upsee'.

She said after using the device, she and her son could go walking and socialising for hours.

"Instead of keeping my child at home, tied up to his armpits in a carriage, I could take him out to pet a dog, touch a tree, stand eye-to-eye with another child," she added.

"I'm hoping that other children all over the world will be able to do the same."

The Israeli mother chose Lisburn firm Leckey to produce the 'Upsee', as they specialise in equipment for children with special needs.

"What it can do for the kids is quite remarkable," James Leckey said.

"It helps kids that really can't walk to walk with their parents, it's almost like the time when you were a child and you used to walk on your father's feet.

"The child gets the opportunity to do things that they would never normally get a chance to do.

"Typically these children would spend most of their time in a wheelchair or seating system but through this product they are playing football, dancing with their families, it's quite phenomenal."

© UTV News
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6 Comments
ashley collyer in usa florida wrote (241 days ago):
My son could benefit from this a 9 yr old with cp where do i get more info?
Mélanie Desjardins in Québec Canada wrote (246 days ago):
I Would like to know how much is it and if i can buy one. I want this for my son !!! So much incredible idea !!!
Alfredo Monteiro in Belgium - Antwerpen wrote (247 days ago):
Great idea, and gives equal chances and fun for both parents and children! God bless you!
County Down in County Down wrote (247 days ago):
This life transforming invention is genius- pure genius. Well done all who were involved in its creation and the journey to the market place. I can imagine how this will bring dignity, freedom and delight to all who will benefit from it.
Susan in Belfast wrote (247 days ago):
Amazing! What a feel-good story. Well done to all involved.
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