Sunday 16 June 2019

Watch: Quadriplegic student walks at graduation with help of exoskeleton

Aldo Amenta became paralysed three years ago in a diving accident.

(Florida International University)
(Florida International University)

By Alistair Mason, Press Association

A quadriplegic student who became paralysed three years ago drew cheers from his classmates as he walked across the stage at his graduation ceremony.

Florida International University student Aldo Amenta broke his neck when he dived into shallow water and has used a wheelchair ever since.

But he walked across the stage on Sunday to pick up his diploma, with the help of an exoskeleton.

“That is just amazing to be able to take those steps towards something that important,” he said. “Even though whatever happened to me, that didn’t make me stop.”

Amenta received financial assistance from the university to help him complete his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.

The college offered him an Ignite scholarship to pay for his tuition while his family funded his medical and therapy expenses.

In 2015, Aldo Amenta lost his ability to walk in a diving accident. Today he defied all odds, and walked across the stage using an exoskeleton to retrieve his diploma. #WorldsAhead

Posted by Florida International University on Sunday, December 9, 2018

That support – from the college, family and others – was crucial in keeping Amenta focused on his recovery after the accident.

“I had the support of so many nice people and that helped me,” he said. “That motivated me, that gave me the strength to be able to continue to push myself through and stay positive.”

Now Amenta intends to go on and study for a master’s degree while continuing his rehabilitation and “working for my dream to get back on my feet and walk again”.

Press Association

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