When Debby Elnatan found out that her 2-year-old son, Rotem, had cerebral palsy, she first cried for two weeks and then got to work.
Even though Rotem couldn't walk on his own, the Israeli mom knew that he "craved a life of exploration," according to Today.com. That's when she came up with the idea of a harness tied to an adult that allows a small child walk with help.
While Rotem's physical therapists discouraged too much activity out of fear that excess walking could worsen muscle spasms, according to the site, Debby tells Today.com that she "understood that Rotem's sitting in a carriage was not going to get him far. Disobeying his therapists' recommendations, I started to facilitate Rotem 'behind their backs."
It was a slow start, but after a year, they were able to walk together for two hours at a time. Debby continued until Rotem was 7 years old.
Now Rotem is 19 years old, and the Firefly Upsee Harness will be hitting shelves for $540 plus shipping. Leckey, a company in Northern Ireland, updated the design, which features double rubber shoes (one for the adult and one for the child), as well as a harness that fits around the adult's waist while also securing the child.
Joseph Schreiber, a physical therapist, tells Today.com that the Upsee could help kids move "more efficiently," but warns parents that they should first consult a physical therapist before purchasing the product.