South Fla. officer takes first steps as a 'bionic man'
MIAMI (WSVN) -- A Miami Police officer has become a "walking miracle" thanks to a new advancement in technology.
Senior Miami-Dade Police officer Leo Fernandez is getting a chance to live a normal a life by becoming the first amputee in South Florida to receive a robotic foot.
Fernandez lost part of his leg in 2002 when he was hit by a drunk driver during a routine traffic stop on the Palmetto Expressway.
"He caught me between the patrol car and the front end of his car."
It took three long years of rehab before Fernandez was able to go back to work on the police force. He said life became a struggle both mentally and physically. "The worst is really dealing with the loss of the leg. You want to be able to do everything like a normal person. That's what triggers the depression."
Fernandez said the old prosthesis was extremely hard on his body and put too much pressure on his back and knees. Those problems have ended after receiving the new robotic foot called Biom. "It's actually got batteries and a computer brain inside of it," Fernandez said. "What it does is it pushes off the ground like your muscles would do normally."
Fernandez said he can already see and feel the difference. "It means a lot to feel almost normal again. I feel my ankle, feel the rotation. This is making me more whole, in a way."
Licensed prosthetist Adam Finnieston said, "Their gait is more symmetric, and they use less energy, which translates into less stress on the joints, your back, knees and hips."
This same technology is also being used on injured military.
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