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Robotic ankle delivered to man in Kinston - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Robotic ankle delivered to man in Kinston

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KINSTON, N.C. -

The tragedy at the Boston Marathon changed hundreds of lives. Many runners and bystanders lost limbs that day two weeks ago and will now have to undergo significant recovery. But that recovery could be much easier thanks to advances in prosthetics.

Paralympic gold medalist Brian Frasure knows all too well. He's an amputee, too. Wednesday he delivered a state-of-the-art robotic ankle to "Eastpoint Prosthetics" in Kinston.

A 2011 logging accident left Tony Johnson with one leg.

"I stepped on that saw and it just kind of twisted me around, threw me on the ground. My foot went down in there where it cuts the tree and it cut my foot off," he said.

22-year-old Cameron Favreau's leg was crushed by a car as he was working in a car wash.

"I don't want sympathy but it is hard. It's hard doing it every day," he said.

Undoubtedly both men's lives are changed forever. They had to learn to walk again on prosthetic legs, but advancements in technology are now making things easier.

It's called the "Biom."

"The Department of Defense is where this started so this robotic technology was available for our military guys before it actually came to the private sector. It's only been available to the private sector for about a year and a half," said Paul Sugg, with East Point Prosthetics and Orthotics.

The robotic ankle is programmed with an app and pushes and lifts your leg just like a calf muscle. It will cost Johnson's insurance company about $70,000 dollars.

Paralympic runner, Brian Frasure, was there to fit the ankle. He works for a company called "I-Walk."

"Ultimately what we want to do is really sort of copy what nature gave us. So when you have an intact limb, we want to restore that same sort of function back to the patient," Frasure said.

"It's easier to walk with. It doesn't take as much energy. I think it's great," Johnson said.

A better way of life. And some hope. One step at a time.

"If you're going to have to have an amputation, it's actually a good time to be an amputee because of all the advancements that have been made in technology," Frasure said.

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