Innovative Harness Provides Mobility Assistance

Apr 04, 2014
Tagged with: Innovative Harness Provides Mobility Assistance

When her son Rotem was two years old, Debby Elnatan was told he would never be able to walk. Rotem had cerebral palsy and according to medical professionals, he had no consciousness of his legs. Debby, a music therapist from Israel, wasn’t going to let that inhibit Rotem’s life. She started walking him around every single day but as he grew, it became increasingly strenuous for the both of them. Out of her own pain and desperation, Debby decided that something had to be done to aid Rotem’s mobility whilst supporting her own. And so the Upsee was born.

The Upsee is a carefully designed support harness that enables a disabled child to stand upright. By securing the child’s legs to an adult’s using specially-engineered sandals and a support belt, they take steps together.

In its prototype stage, the harness worked beautifully and before long, it was being trailed in the UK, US, and Canada by families of children with disabilities. Everyone marveled at it’s smart but simple design, and the way it allowed children to experience assisted mobility. At the time, Gerry Bucke of Chartwell Mobility Insurance Services said: “The Upsee is a wonderful invention clearly born out of a mother’s passion to see her son walk. Mobility is a huge issue for children with disabilities and their families, and anything that can help families improve the life of their child, and make things easier for themselves, can only be a good thing.”

Thanks to such far-reaching success, the Upsee is now being prepared for an international launch by assisted mobility manufacturer Firefly.  Firefly’s clinical research manager and occupational therapist, Clare Canale, said the product would help families across the world.

“Short-term, the Upsee improves special needs family participation and quality of life, while research suggests it has the potential to help with physical and emotional development in the longer term.” She continues: “It has been humbling to see the progress and happiness the Upsee is creating; watching children to do simple things for the first time such as kicking a ball or playing with a sibling is wonderful for everyone involved, but especially the families”

Upsee inventor Debby agreed: “It is wonderful to see this product available to families across the world.”

Indeed, the harness has already enjoyed success thousands of miles away. Stacy Warden from Colorado trialed the product with her five-year-old son Noah,”[the Upsee] allows us to do so many things and go so many places that we couldn’t before,” she said.

Another happy customer is Maura McCrystal and five-year-old Jack from Northern Ireland, who called the trial “very emotional,” and praised the Upsee for enabling Jack to play his first game of football with his brothers.

Upsee goes on sale worldwide starting April 7. It will fit children from 3 to 8 years old. Is the Upsee something you would use or recommend?

Author: Emily Buchanan

  • bobl07

    My first observation is that the harness looks like a lot of fun for the kids, but a lot of work for the parents. It seems like a good way for both kid and parent to have a good exercise experience.

  • Emily Buchanan

    It does look like a lot of fun – and it must be so liberating for children that have never experienced full mobility. I do think it’s a shame that only children aged 3-8 can use it. That being said, I can’t imagine it being all that comfortable with a fully grown 15 year old!