Ruben de Sain
Ruben de Sain was diagnosed with a spinal cord injury almost 12 years ago. From that moment, his life completely changed. It happened during a sunny day when he and his brother decided to go for a ride on their motorcycles. They drove behind a large truck that suddenly lost some bricks and sand. Ruben and his brother had to avoid the spilled junk. His brother drove right through all the mess, but Ruben avoided the mess by driving into the berm. In the berm, he lost the control over his motorcycle and fell eight meters down. He hit a stump and injured his shoulder badly. Then the motorcycle landed on his back, fractured a vertebra and badly damaged his nerves. Ruben knew something was wrong a few seconds after he hit the ground, as he couldn't move his legs. Medical professionals later told him that he would probably never walk again due to a spinal cord injury.
This did not stop him to live his life to the fullest. Even with his spinal cord injury he is still skiing, water jet riding and performing many more adventurous types of sports.
Ten years after his accident he started a special rehabilitation program at the Sint Maartenskliniek where they made use of an (commercial) exoskeleton. The program lasted for a period of ten weeks, during which Ruben had the chance to train a lot with the exoskeleton. In the end he was able to walk again properly. Unfortunately, after the rehabilitation period of ten weeks he had to hand in the exoskeleton and went home without the chance of walking again soon.
Project MARCH & Ruben
We met Ruben during a testing day at the Sint Maartenkliniek. At this day, Ruben provided us with a lot of useful feedback already. After that day, the team decided to ask him to be the pilot during the year 2016-2017. He immediately replied enthusiastically and agreed to join the project. Project MARCH is very happy that Ruben was our pilot that year and thereby helped us to reach our goal.