A special forces soldier who survived a fall of 396m during a training mishap in 2018 has been seen on social media using a powered exo-suit for physical therapy.
Three years ago, then-private first-class Chin Liang-feng (秦良丰) of the army’s Third Special Forces Battalion, jumped out of a C-130 plane, but his parachute failed to fully open, causing him to plummet to the ground.
The accident happened over Ching Chuan Kang Air Base in Taichung during the 2018 Han Kuang military exercises.
Photo: Hsu Li-chuan, Taipei Times
Although Chin’s brain and spinal column were seriously damaged, he survived because he landed in tall grass beside the concrete and asphalt surface of the air base and executed his parachute failure training correctly, the army said at the time.
Chin has been undergoing physical therapy at Kaohsiung Armed Forces General Hospital, and has regained partial use of his limbs.
Jason Chin (秦天人), Chin Liang-feng’s father, on Nov. 14 shared videos on Facebook that showed his son in a robotic exo-suit made by Taiwanese cybernetics corporation Free Bionics Inc.
Chin Liang-feng could be seen in the videos standing upright and moving his legs with assistance from others.
“Holding your hands and helping you practice walking is an entirely different feeling than teaching you how to walk when you were little,” Jason Chin wrote. “This time, I am never going to let go and leave you to walk alone until you are ready.”
Chin Liang-feng said the exo-suit system is an experimental aid to correct his movements, and its continued utilization is still a matter of discussion at the hospital.
His goal is to strengthen his core so that he can regain as many functions as possible, he said.
He added that would like to be able to get in and out of bed without assistance before the middle of next year.
“My family has been a team to me; my parents are happy when I am happy and sad when I am sad,” he said. “More than anything else, I want to be out and about, and spend a night with my family.”
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