Her Son Was In a Wheelchair, So She Invented This To Help Him Walk


Debby Elnatan, an Israeli mother of a child with cerebral palsy, has created a new game changer for disabled kids.

''When my son was 2 years old, I was told by medical professionals that he didn’t know what his legs are and has no consciousness of them," Elnatan told the newspapers about her son, Rotem. After a global search for a company to mass-produce her "Upsee", the Israeli mother chose Northern Ireland-based manufacturer Leckey, which has a long track record in making equipment for children with special needs. The device costs $540 plus shipping and fits kids from 3 to 8 years old. The Upsee allows infants and small children to stand and achieve repetitive walking training with the support of an adult.


The device works somewhat on the principle of how parents often teach children to dance. But instead of young ones placing their feet on top of someone's shoes, the Upsee places kids' feet beside the grown-ups' feet with specially designed sandals, leaving their hands free for play and other tasks. The children stand facing forward and move as the grown-ups move.


"It allows us to do so many things and go so many places that we couldn't before. He laughs and giggles, something he doesn't do with other walking devices, which he sees as work," said Stacy Warden of Colorado, whose 5-year-old son, Noah, also has cerebral palsy.

Maura McCrystal, from Draperstown, Northern Ireland, explained that the Upsee enabled her son Jack to play soccer for the first time with his father and brothers. "To see Jack playing like any other 5 year old boy made me very emotional," she said in the release.

All photos from Pinterest's group of Upsee's fans

Firefly's clinical research manager and occupational therapist, Clare Canale, said the product could help families across the world. "Short-term, the Upsee improves special needs family participation and quality of life, while research suggests it has the potential to help with physical and emotional development in the longer term," she said.