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Out of horror, local prosthetics firms offer small hope

KAYANA SZYMCZAK FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

Over a dozen lost at least one limb during Monday’s bombing, but area technology and prosthetics companies are working to make sure that does not mean a lifetime loss of mobility.

Leading the way is Bedford’s iWalk, founded by Hugh Herr who began his own work after facing a personal tragedy: He lost both his legs below the knee after a rock climbing accident.

Callum Borchers offers a survey of the technology on the market today — and where it is going over the next decades.

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“The technology we have today is good,” Herr told him. “In a decade, it will be extraordinary, and in 20 years, it will be unimaginable. If these victims are young enough to see that, they will eventually be able to fully ambulate.”

And the technology truly is amazing: After his accident, Herr is once again back to advanced climbing, and while the road to recovery is neither easy nor inexpensive (lifetime healthcare costs for amputees average half a million), it is becoming closer every day. Below is video of a climbing trip Herr took with two companions:

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