Erlangen - A terrible moped accident changed the life of 16-year-old Lukas Gloßner in one fell swoop: he was paraplegic! But the teenager didn't let that get him down ...
After the accident, the Erlanger was hospitalized: operations, intensive care, several months of rehab.
He told BILD: "Sometimes there were days when I felt bad mentally. But I had a positive distraction through my friends and family, especially in the early days, which is why I didn't fall into a hole as predicted."
Gloßner NEVER gave up: "I worked my way from goal to goal and was still in a good mood. I also owe that especially to my mother, who supported me during this difficult phase."
As if all that wasn't bad enough, Lukas, now 23, and his mother Margit Gloßner also had to fight with the health insurance company. In 2019, he wanted to get an exoskeleton - but the insurance company refused.
An exoskeleton is a device that helps people with spinal cord injuries to walk and stand. The estimated cost: between 70,000 and 100,000 euros.
Reason for rejection: The physical benefit is not given with the device. And it did not contribute to disability compensation. A legal battle that lasted for years began.
Health insurance company grants test phase
According to Gloßner, the attorneys for the company "ReWalk Robotics," which manufactured the exoskeleton, had been the lead firm in this litigation. From 2019 to 2021, there had been regular correspondence. It was not until April 2021 that the health insurance company decided to grant Lukas Gloßner a three-month test phase of the exoskeleton.
Gloßner tested the skeleton three times a week for an hour each time. "During this time, I had to try out whether I was able to familiarize myself with the system, whether I could stand up with it, walk, sit down or I could turn on the spot. We then recorded each process with videos to show the health insurance company that the device added value for me."
Discover wheelchair basketball
Then the good news: After another year, the health insurance covered the costs. The student's videos served as the basis. And a federal ruling in a comparable case. The health insurance approved the exoskeleton even before the verdict was announced.
In the meantime, the student has become accustomed to the exoskeleton and tries to integrate it into his daily routine occasionally. "I'm doing well with the exoskeleton. Since I can stand with the help of the device, it allows me to see from a different perspective. Especially with a height of 1.95."
Giving up was never an option for Lukas Gloßner anyway. He started playing wheelchair basketball just one year after the accident. At the beginning, he was only occasionally at the training sessions. But over time, it became more. In the beginning, he played in the regional league in Ingolstadt. Later he moved to the regional league in Munich and was then called up to the national league.
Highlight: World Championship
During his one-year semester abroad in Bilbao (Spain), he played on the team there. His highlight so far: this year's World Championship in Dubai and European Championship in Rotterdam (Netherlands).
"It was a huge honor for me to represent my country and to be there at this high level. We finished fourth at the European Championships and eighth at the World Championships. In the coming period, I also want to focus 100 percent on the sport."
Lukas Gloßner currently lives in Erlangen with his girlfriend Lilly Sellak and is studying digital business at the Technical University (TH) in Ingolstadt. After completing his bachelor's thesis, he is aiming for a master's degree. However, sports will continue to be an important part of his life.
Source and image rights Bild.de & Rewalk: After moped accident Erlanger sits in wheelchair: In the exoskeleton to the World Cup | Regional | BILD.de