Irving Caplan

Irving Caplan

Paralyzed Briton who attended his daughter's wedding wearing an exoskeleton
Country: Great Britain

  1. Paralyzed Briton Attends Daughter's Wedding in Exoskeleton
  2. A Life-Changing Accident
  3. A Surprising Solution
  4. A Memorable Wedding
  5. An Unforgettable Day
  6. Supporting a Charitable Cause

Paralyzed Briton Attends Daughter's Wedding in Exoskeleton

Irving Kaplan, a paralyzed IT consultant living in Stanmore, Middlesex, had always feared that he would have to address the guests at his daughter's wedding in a wheelchair. However, thanks to the latest advancements in robotics, the 55-year-old Briton was able to deliver his speech standing.

Irving Caplan

A Life-Changing Accident

In 2012, Kaplan broke three vertebrae when he collided with a truck during a morning bike ride on Edgware Road in northwest London. After a series of operations and 12 days in the intensive care unit, Kaplan was left with tetraplegia, paralysis of all four limbs, and was reliant on a wheelchair. When his daughter, Joan, announced her engagement to Mike Beaumont, Mr. Kaplan became anxious about how he would accompany his daughter down the aisle and address the guests in his condition.

Irving Caplan

A Surprising Solution

Fortunately, Kaplan's wife, Karen, met a representative from the New Zealand company 'Rex Bionics' at a disability technology exhibition. They offered Kaplan the opportunity to borrow a 'robotic suit' that would allow him to stand and walk. Kaplan recalls, "The guests were stunned when I appeared. It was a regular speech, where I thanked everyone for coming and wished them a pleasant evening. But I surprised everyone with my entrance. For various reasons, I couldn't accompany Joan down the aisle, but I was able to deliver my speech standing."

Irving Caplan

A Memorable Wedding

Kaplan managed to walk for three minutes and take 30 steps across the ballroom at the luxurious Sopwell House in St Albans. This left the guests in awe, as they had no idea of the surprise in store for them. Joan, who had known about her father's plan, was overwhelmed with emotions when she saw him walk. She said, "It was important for him to make the most of the wedding in the state he was in before the accident, so what happened was simply amazing. Most of the guests knew him before and after the accident, and they were all very emotional when they saw him standing tall, matching their height."

An Unforgettable Day

The wedding organizers played the soundtrack from the movie 'Moonwalk', the songs 'Walking Back to Happiness' and 'You'll Never Walk Alone', and according to Kaplan, there was not a dry eye in the room. The exoskeleton suit, which is controlled by a joystick, computer systems, and motors, was loaned to Kaplan for only one day. The cost of this robotic suit is around £97,000, a price that Kaplan cannot afford. However, this special day will forever be etched in his memory.

Supporting a Charitable Cause

Brian Carlin from the charity 'Aspire', which Kaplan has been involved with since his spinal injury in 2012, mentioned that Kaplan has been helping raise funds for 'Aspire'. One of their services is providing adapted homes for patients with spinal cord injuries who are still looking for suitable and accessible housing. Kaplan resided in an 'Aspire' house in London from April 2013 to March 2014 and has raised over £2,000 for the charity through his charitable activities.