Only Yinka Ayefele and others who have been unfortunately confined to the wheelchair will be able to understand the associated agony and discomfort. Well, finally, years after the ace gospel musician sang about awaiting a miracle to make him walk again, it appears that prayer has to a large degree been answered.
Several news articles yesterday carried the good news that a device had been donated to the musician turned radio entrepreneur. The device, reports had it would enable Yinka Ayefele to stand and walk. To those who may not know, there appears to be several new innovations specifically designed to allow paraplegics like Ayefele stand and walk. Such devices are generally classified as exoskeletons.
sharing the news, Yinka Ayefele shared a video and wrote:
“I feel so relieved of my pain…Hon Oludare Akande bought this for me.You will never experience pains in your entire life. Thanks so much..Dare Akande tinje Obama lamerica… You raise my hope of walking again. I believe!!!”
See his post below:
The innovation is based on the fact that skeletons allow humans and animals walk. In other words, without skeletons which are made of bones, it would be impossible to walk. There beings with internal skeletons, like humans and many animals. You may have to open up the flesh to see the skeletons. Some animals, however, have external skeletons which enable them move and walk. These include most animals with hard surfaces, e.g, insects like scorpions.
The technology of Yinka Ayefele‘s new device is therefore based on exoskeletons, especially because people with paralysis have problems with nerves that control movements of their internal skeletal structure. That’s why they possibly need exoskeletons to allow them walk.
At this point, it’s unclear which particular company produced the devices which was reportedly donated to Yinka Ayefele. However, what we know is the a company called ‘ReWalk Bionics’ pioneered the invention, they also appear to be the leading force in the exoskeletons for paraplegics technology.
The average cost of their bionic assistance device, according to available information, is between a whopping $65,000 and $85,000 (between N28m and N38m – depending on the prevailing exchange rate) per unit. That’s not all what’s hefty about the ReWalk ‘bionic walking assistance system’, it can also weigh as heavy as 23kg (some have criticized the device for how heavy it is).
Of this total weight, the robotic leg attachments weigh as much as 21kg. Meanwhile, as you can see, the device also includes a backpack weighing up to 2.3kg. The backpack contains the windows-operated computer and battery.
Altogether, this combination allows the user to operate the device in three different modes: sitting (of course Ayefele has had enough sitting over the years – pass), standing, and walking (now you’re talking). In order to chose which mode a user wants, Yinka Ayefele will need to send instructions via a wristwatch type device to the computer (ReWalk).
You may also wish to know that the device isn’t quite a new invention. It was invented by an Israeli named Amit Goffer, in Yokneam, Isreal in 2011, and was approved for personal use by America’s FDA in 2014. And in case you wonder how fast Yinka Ayefele might be able to move around, aided by his new bionic assistance device, well, that’s not clear at the moment. However, paralyzed British woman, Claire Lomas, might be able to tell us more.
She was the first person who was able to take the device home for everyday personal use. Besides, she also became the first person to finish a marathon using a bionic assistance suit. She achieved the feat On May 8, 2012, at the London Marathon, which she completed in 17 days. For perspective, professional runners are able to finish the 42.5km course under three hours.
Let’s just thank the good Lord that our dear Gospel Tungba crooner, Yinka Ayefele, might be uninterested in running a marathon anytime soon. He probably is satisfied with being able to stand, shake, and move around the music stage, at least for now.
From the pictures, it’s clear that Ayefele is ecstatic at just being able to get off the wheelchair… after many years. However you look at it, this could be one of the happiest moments in the life of the man who recently welcomed his set of triplets, making him a father for the first time ever, after many years of barrenness.