Updated: Friday, August 2 2013, 10:18 PM EDT
A medical device created for extremely overweight people proves equally useful for patients trying to recover from a stroke.
In today's Health Alert, News 13's Jay Siltzer shows us the "Viking Lift" also gives a boost in physical therapy.
62-year-old Bennett Stone is determined not to be pushed around by a stroke that hospitalized him earlier this month.
Bennett stone, stroke patient, "my vision was impaired, I couldn't walk."
The Viking was initially designed and purchased to lift bariatric patients.
Now, it's finding renewed purpose in physical therapy, helping stroke patients get back on their feet.
CarePartners in Asheville has invested several thousand dollars in the state-of-the-art sling device that is used by several patients rehabilitating.
Debbie Johnson, MPT, CarePartners physical therapist, "they know they can't possibly fall in this machine because it can physically hold them up."
Bennett, "it helps me with my stability and balance. It takes the weight off your legs when you're walking."
Debbie, "we can gradually wean patients off of the support until they are able to get up and down without needing the assistance of the machine."
Bennett, "I'm absolutely pleased, and I'm surprised too. I didn't think I'd come along this quickly."
Therapists say Bennett will make more strides in the weeks to come, gradually regaining his independence.