Cool Helmet Design With High Tech Features

Zeno and his father came to our office for a custom cranial protective orthosis for Zeno, a 4 year old boy who has a form of childhood epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is a form of severe epilepsy that begins in childhood, and is characterized by multiple types of seizures, including drop attacks. On a typical day, Zeno has between 300 and 500 seizures. Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome is treatment resistant, and Zeno has tried many medications in the past to reduce his seizures, which provide a temporary reduction in seizures followed by reverting to 300-500 seizures per day. Zeno cannot walk independently due to the frequency of his drop attacks, but recently started using a body weight supported gait trainer to move around.

Zeno has never worn a custom cranial protective orthosis before, but wears a taekwondo helmet or a hockey helmet to provide some protection. Zeno has a history of injuries from his drop attacks, including most recently a broken nose and black eye from hitting his face in a drop attack. One of the major priorities of the cranial protective orthosis is to prevent future injuries to Zeno’s skull and face.

Zeno’s father had previously purchased an Empatica E4 wristband that provides real-time physiological data, including markers for seizures, but Zeno refused to wear the wristband. At Zeno’s father’s request, the wristband was integrated into Zeno’s helmet and was able to read the physiological data off of the skin on his forehead and his temple. We also integrated a GPS tracker and a GoPro mount into Zeno’s custom cranial protective orthosis at his father’s request, and look forward to seeing the video that Zeno takes of his day-to-day life! Zeno loved his new helmet, and scooted around our office in his gait trainer with a smile on his face.

Zeno and his father worked with Melanie & Carol to design this helmet with all the features requested.  Zeno’s father would like more people to be aware of LGS and treatment options. Thanks to Zeno and his father for making us part of this.  

Van Nes Rotationplasty Prosthesis “Keeping You Living Life”

Our team of experts are constantly refining the look and fit of the Van Nes Prosthesis.  Biodesign’s head office in Brantford is conveniently located to many major centers in southwestern Ontario.  Biodesign’s team works closely with athletes, men, women and children utilizing a Van Nes prosthesis.  Our goal is to improve on the look and functionality of the Prosthesis utilizing state of the art technology and light weight materials.  “Keeping You Living Life”  Come see what Biodesign can do for you.  


On day 2 at the clinic, we were much more organized, like a well oiled machine. We had the opportunity to see many more children, including several with hydrocephalus resulting from spina bifida.
Although most of the children that we saw had the same disorders/medical conditions that are common in Canada, the lack of available resources and the delayed medical treatment cause the same conditions to look much different and much more severe in Honduras. One of the roles that our team played was collaborating with the staff at Centro de Rehabilitacion Integral de Lempira (CRILE) as well as the parents, and educating them on ways to prevent contractured joints and to optimize the quality of life that these kids have.
A highlight of day 2 was that a local news station and a local radio station came to report on our Canada-Honduras Children’s Health Initiative (CHCHI) team, and the work that we were doing. Our team leader, Dr. Benjamin Klein, was interviewed by the news station, and had the opportunity to explain what our team’s mission is, and what work we were doing.
A unique case that we had on our second day was a little boy who is non-verbal, who has a history of self-abuse that we think to result from his inability to effectively communicate with those around him. Our OT, Ashley, was able to teach him a few words of sign language in the half hour or so that she spent with him, and we were able to give him a soft helmet that will help reduce injury when he has outbursts.

We also connected with a local carpenter out of Gracias, Lempira, who is using a template that we provided and tested to build wooden chairs that are easily customizable with foam inserts/straps/chest harnesses to create effective seating solutions for the kids. We managed to pack 12 of these chairs (in pieces) in our luggage, but it is great that we found someone to work with who can meet this need for the kids at CRILE.


Monday was our first day at the clinic, and it was a very very busy one. We were welcomed with open arms by CRILE,  the clinic we were at, and they made a beautiful banner 24 children with disabilities came through the clinic, all of whom were seen by Dr.  Klein and received orthotic, seating and feeding assessment and treatment as needed.

The children we saw had similar pathologies to what is often seen in Canada: spina bifida, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, etc.

Many of the children that we saw have never had any of the bracing or seating that they truly need.  Wheelchairs are not common in Honduras, and we saw many parents carrying their non-ambulatory children around.

I had the chance to outfit many different kids with braces to support their feet, and prevent them from getting contractures. The children who have grown up without bracing tend to have severe contracture because their days and nights are spent lying flat on their beds or in hammocks.
There is minimal school support for children with disabilities in Honduras, regardless of the cognitive status of the kids.  Another important role that our team played is showing parents how to teach their kids words, colours and functional skills through play!
Most kids here have never owned toys, so they were thrilled that we were able to send home toys with them.
After an 11.5 hour day seeing patients, we were finished, and ready to recharge for day 2!

Thank You Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Thank you to all the staff at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital for the great donation of Ankle Foot Orthotics for this years CANADA-HONDURAS CHILDREN’S HEALTH INITIATIVE.  I was met there this morning By Christa Bell who kindly gave me a large bag of Braces to be utilized in such a poor region of the world.  “This is a group of volunteers who travel to Honduras every year for a one-week clinic geared towards providing children in need with access to health-care services”  I have provided a link to their website if you wish to donate.  Canada-Honduras Children’s Health Initiative