A veteran of the Canadian army since 1998, following an accident in 1994, Raymond Levasseur is severely affected by osteoarthritis and knee hyperlaxity. Prior to using KEEOGO , he was obliged to use a walker to walk around and his daily movements were limited. Now, he is proud to say he can live a real life instead of just surviving.
In patients diagnosed with arthritis, an estimated 37.1% of cases are due to osteoarthritis (OA), with the knee (29.4%), hip (12.3%), and knee/hip (28.7%) reported as common sites of joint pain. As a result of OA, patients typically experience increased levels of pain, which negatively affects daily activities such as walking, moving, and climbing stairs.
Raymond Levasseur is a Canadian Army war veteran who served for almost 20 years. This former military chef was well known for his athletic talents, ranging from running to high jump, for which he had won several gold and silver medals during Cadets sports competitions. He lives now with his wife, Lucie, with whom he shared a passion for dance before arthritis came into his life.
Saying he had a pretty busy life is an understatement. Amongst the 107 others chefs in the military base, he was the only one able to take part in the workouts, with an average load of 75 lb on his back. His specialty made him travel to cook for hundreds of soldiers and officers, loaded with hundreds of lbs of food. Unfortunately, in 1994, he has an accident that makes him reconsider his way of life. While riding his bike on his daily 15 km, a truck conveying wood hurt him, leaving him with a damaged cervical vertebra and an unsteady gait. His joints began to weaken and hurt. At this point, even staying on his feet for more than a few minutes became challenging.
“My teammates noticed my awkward and unstable walking. Each day the pain intensified. Once, during my medical appointment, the doctor said he had to perform an arthroscopy on me. When I woke up from the surgery, I discovered he had removed my knee cartilage and synovia… My mobility was slipping through my fingers, and the list of my activities began to shrink to the point where my quality of life was affected by it. No more dancing with my wife, even though it was our dearest shared passion, no more walking the dogs, and of course, no clearing the snow in winter! “
“One day, I fell on my knees on the stairs at work, and my mobility completely slipped away. I couldn’t get back on my feet without unbearable pain, and limitless efforts. Then came the verdict: I had to stop working due to this disability causing the inability to work.
There was no way I could get a surgery, we found out quickly that my body was rejecting surgical steel. They offered me several orthosis to consider, but none of them would fit or support me as much as I needed. What I really needed was a device that could relieve the pain in my knees and support my movements.
I heard about the KEEOGO Dermoskeleton by chance, and discovered it was a new generation of walking assistance devices developed in Quebec City by B-Temia. I was very intrigued and decided to try it, see if it could relieve my pain. The first trial was most successful; I was able to stand on my feet by my own. After a few time, I even noticed that I was feeling less pain in my joints, and I was able to get back to some of my activities I had to give up due to my condition.
Wearing KEEOGO made me want to try to lift heavier loads, with the approval of my clinician, and alleluia! I was able to lift even heavier than before! I am more active, more confident, and more independent –I was able to walk a few steps without it, and now I can walk at least 5 kilometers! I am even capable of using the snow blower!
I know that pain and loss of autonomy due to osteoarthritis can be very discouraging. However, even if I know there’s no cure for arthritis yet, I’m proud and happy that a Canadian technological innovation is available can support people like me to live with a real quality of life rather than just survive.”