Running for Life: The Alter G is saving lives

People who suffer strokes, spinal chord injuries, parkinson's disease or severe osteo arthritis many times become confined to a wheel chair unable to walk. But now we are learning that the Alter G, the NASA developed anti-gravity treadmill, is giving many people who cannot walk hope.

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - It is like a miracle for people like Thomas Hargest. After two strokes and 32 falls that landed him in the emergency room, no one would have ever thought the 86 year old would be walking without help - let alone on a treadmill. "I couldn't even get out of a chair when I first starting coming to workout on the Alter G," says Thomas Hargest.

In addition to the strokes, he also has severe osteo arthritis in the spine, hips and knees. With so many serious medical issues, Hargest was suffering and his health was also taking a tremendous toll on his wife, Neva. His doctor sent him to Ledesma Sports Medicine to try the Alter G. "When he came to me, they were in dire straits. His wife was so concerned because she was suffering herself because in a way, she was struggling, trying to help take care of him at home," Ernest Ledesma, owner of Ledesma Sports Medicine told WTOC.

At first he could only walk 3 minutes on the treadmill. Now he's working out 65 minutes - three times a week . The Alter G has completely changed their lives. "At home my wife did everything for me. Now I can take care of myself a lot better. It's easier on her that I can do some things for myself," explains Hargest.

This family calls the Alter G a Godsend. It is giving Hargest the freedom he was sure he had lost. "It is so simple that it does so much good. This is as good to me as rockets flying to the moon because I can use this," says Hargest.

After about four months, not only is he getting around better,but Hargest lost more than 20 pounds and his health has dramatically improved. "My doctor can't believe it. When I went back to see him, he said, I don't know what you are doing, but keep on doing it," adds Hargest.

His progress has Ernest Ledesma smiling from ear to ear. "To say that I get pleasure seeing people get better is an understatement awe inspiring to me. To see people do things in such a short period of time has been absolutely amazing and mind blogging."

You can learn more about Ledesma Sports Medicine and the Alter G by checking out the Ledesma Sports Medicine Facebook page or call them 912.401.0443.

Ledesma Sports Medicine
340 Eisenhower Dr.
Bldg. 1400 Suite A
Savannah, GA 31406

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