By Mike Dardis
Cincinnati, OH (WLWT/CNN) - A paralyzed Cincinnati woman takes her first steps in years, thanks to some amazing new technology.
One beautiful smile tells the tale. Carolina Hatton was paralyzed from the waist down coming home from the 2009 Orange Bowl in Florida. A cruel car accident took away her ability to walk.
New technology is giving her hope.
"I mean I've been in a wheel chair for close to four years now. And walking, standing up straight and walking without putting so much strain on my body. It's just amazing," said Hatton.
A wearable robot was developed by Ekso Bionics. Cincinnati's Drake Center is now one of only 20 facilities in the world where you can find it.
Hatton was the first person to give it a test run, as others dreaming to walk again watched her every move.
"It feels really nice to be up. It's kind of nerve-racking having everybody here," said Hatton.
The $140,000 device allows the physical therapist to program things like speed and step length. TI also gives patients the ability to shift their weight, and when they're able to balance comfortably, they can actually initiate their own steps.
"It means the world to me," said Hatton.
Another thing that's on her mind is wanting to be a regular mom to her 4-year-old son.
"One of my dreams is just to stand up and be able to hold him, and with the Ekso I still have faith and hope that I can still do that," she said.
The Ekso Skeleton Hatton used was donated to the Drake Center.
A more affordable consumer model is expected to be available in 2014.