Monday, May 20 2013 4:59 PM EDT2013-05-20 20:59:24 GMT
Richmond, VA—The pastor of a large, well-known church in Richmond has been accused of sexual misconduct on a group of websites. A group of Richmond faith leaders held a protest calling for his resignationMore >>
The pastor of a large, well-known church in Richmond has been accused of sexual misconduct on a group of websites. A group of Richmond faith leaders held a protest calling for his resignation on Monday afternoon...More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 4:51 PM EDT2013-05-20 20:51:17 GMT
RICHMOND, Va - Frederick "Toots" Hibbert, frontman for the legendary reggae band The Maytals, was hospitalized in Richmond, VA for injuries sustained while performing at the Dominion Riverrock festivalMore >>
A Henrico County teen has been charged with assaulting the leader of the reggae band Toots and the Maytals during Saturday's Riverrock festival. "Toots" Hibbert spoke exclusively to 8News about the incident...More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 4:28 PM EDT2013-05-20 20:28:21 GMT
Henrico, VA—Parking has become a larger problem at the Staples Mill Amtrak Station over the past few months; we shared reports of cars clogging the parking lot back in March. Now, a solution may be inMore >>
Parking has become a larger problem at the Staples Mill Amtrak Station over the past few months; we shared reports of cars clogging the parking lot back in March. Now, a solution may be in sight...More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 3:41 PM EDT2013-05-20 19:41:06 GMT
(ABC News)--Allana Maiden wanted her mother to feel beautiful again after she'd undergone a radical mastectomy. But Victoria's Secret, the company she hoped would design sexy lingerie for women who'veMore >>
Allana Maiden wanted her mother to feel beautiful again after she'd undergone a radical mastectomy. But Victoria's Secret, the company she hoped would design sexy lingerie for women who've had breast cancer surgery, has rejected her appeal for a "survivor line" of bras...More >>
-- The metal on Zac Vawter's bionic leg gleamed as he climbed the 103
floors of Chicago's iconic Willis Tower, becoming the first person ever
to complete the task wearing a mind-controlled prosthetic limb.
who lost his right leg in a motorcycle accident, put the smart limb on
public display for the first time during an annual stair-climbing
charity event called "SkyRise Chicago" hosted by the Rehabilitation
Institute of Chicago, where he is receiving treatment.
"Everything went great," said Vawter at the event's end. "The prosthetic leg did its part, and I did my part."
leg is designed to respond to electrical impulses from muscles in his
hamstring. When Vawter thought about climbing the stairs, the motors,
belts and chains in his leg synchronized the movements of its ankle and
The computerized prosthetic limb, like something from a sci-fi film, weighs about 10 pounds and holds two motors.
- or thought-controlled - prosthetic arms have been available for a few
years, thanks to pioneering work done at the Rehabilitation Institute.
Knowing leg amputees outnumber people who have lost arms and hands, the
Chicago researchers are focusing more on lower limbs. If a bionic hand
fails, a person drops a glass of water. If a bionic leg fails, a person
falls down stairs.
This event was a research project for us, said Joanne Smith, the Rehabilitation Institute's CEO.
were testing the leg under extreme conditions. Very few patients who
will use the leg in the future will be using it for this purpose. From
that perspective, its performance was beyond measure," Smith added.
prepare for his pioneering climb, Vawter said, he practiced on a small
escalator at a gym, while researchers spent months adjusting the
technical aspects of the leg to ensure that it would respond to his
When Vawter goes home to Yelm,
Wash., where he lives with his wife and two children, the experimental
leg will stay behind in Chicago. Researchers will continue to refine its
steering. Taking it to the market is still years away.
come a long way, but we have a long way to go," said lead researcher
Levi Hargrove of the institute's Center for Bionic Medicine. "We need to
make rock solid devices, more than a research prototype."
$8 million project is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and
involves Vanderbilt University, the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, the University of Rhode Island and the University of New
"A lot of people say that losing a
leg is like losing a loved one," said Vawter. "You go through a grieving
process. You establish a new normal in your life and move on. Today was
a big event. It's just neat to be a part of the research and be a part
Nearly, 3,000 climbers participated
in the annual charity event. Participants climbed about 2,100 steps to
the Willis Tower's SkyDeck level to raise money for the institute's
rehabilitation care and research.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.