News

Standing paraplegic patient kicks ball to open World Cup

Standing paraplegic patient kicks ball to open World Cup

WORLD CUP KICKER:Brazilian neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis works in his robotic laboratory in Sao Paulo May 21. Photo: Reuters/Paulo Whitaker

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – A standing paraplegic man kicked the first soccer ball of the World Cup in Sao Paulo on Thursday, a triumphant moment for a research project aiming to give patients who have lost feeling in their legs the ability to walk again.

Brazilian neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis, normally based at North Carolina’s Duke University, has developed a robotic exoskeleton to assist patients’ movement.

In late April, three patients took steps while wearing the exoskeleton, according to Nicolelis, who posted a celebratory tweet on Thursday saying “we did it!”. His team plans to publish research on the project soon.

Sao Paulo’s Corinthians arena has been criticized for delays and cost overruns, but wheelchair-bound fans, including Congresswoman Mara Gabrilli, were pleasantly surprised at the access and army of support staff they had at a rehearsal game on June 1.

About 60,000 cheering fans attended the match between Brazil and Croatia that kicked off the month-long soccer tournament.

(Reporting by Eduardo Simões; Writing by Caroline Stauffer, editing by Ed Osmond)

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Harrison Ford crashes plane on golf course

Fresh
Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford was forced to make an emergency landing while flying a two-seater plane Thursday.

in Entertainment

Peeps milk coming to an Easter basket near you

peeps

Because why shouldn't milk taste more like marshmallows?

in Lifestyle

The elephants are out of the circus

elephant

The Ringling Bros. Circus says it will eliminate elephant acts by 2018 amid public concerns.

in Music

Singer Ray Scott engaged

rayscott

The "Drinkin' Beer" singer is about to be a married man.

in Music, Viral Videos

‘Uptown Funk’ sung in cartoon voices

10-overlay2

What if the cast of "Family Guy" sung the hit single by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars?