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Prominent U of A nerouscientist dies from COVID-19 after outbreak at Edmonton General

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Dr. Arthur Prochazka, Stein’s former colleague, said the device is still being used in order to help people regain a wider range of motion in their legs.

“Dick was one of the few who…actually pulled that off, and his devices have been sold all around the world,” said Prochazka. “It was never … for financial reasons, it was always in order to help people.”

MS sufferer Daryl Steele, 49, demonstrates an electronic leg brace with Richard Stein, a U of A research professor. Photo by File photo

Prochazka said Stein was well-known in the Edmonton scientific community as a terrific mentor to his students and as a pioneer of the U of A’s physiology department.

Dr. Kelly James, who invented the C-leg, a prosthetic with advanced functioning, said Stein was instrumental in helping him create the device through mentorship and tutoring.

James said Stein never tried to take credit for his work, something many others might have.

“He just never really put his foot down and said, ‘This is my idea, I want to take it away,’ ” said James. “I was able to buy the idea from the university and follow up with a patent application and Dick just helped me all along the way. He never stuck his foot in.”

‘It can happen to anybody’

Prochazka, along with Dr. Keir Pearson, another former colleague, said it is frustrating to see people disregard COVID-19 after it killed their colleague.

“This happened because, you know, people are not following the rules here in Alberta,” said Pearson. “He’s a prominent person, well-educated and it can happen to anybody. That’s the point.”

He said something needs to change in the community in order to squash the virus.

“It drives me nuts. I mean, it’s absolutely crazy.”


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