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Man creates crutches to help disabled patient get back to the mountains

Shared by Ana Duarte on 2019-10-01 09:51

About the solution

Graham Naylor, a graphic designer, born in 1972, is an extreme-sports fan who lost the use of both of his legs in 2012, after being caught in an avalanche. Graham was buried so deep in snow that the oxygen didn’t reach his brain, leading to action myoclonus (an injury to the part of the brain that controls motor functions, swallowing, speech and limb movement).

Now the designer relies on his caregiver for a lot of tasks in his daily routine. “Roy has to chop up anything I eat and I have to smother everything in oil and sauces to help food slide down without choking, I look like a seal swallowing mackerel. Everything is a bit of a battle, but I try to stay positive and I still believe in mind over matter – come on legs, move!”, he said.

Graham has difficulty standing and has limited arm movement. His dream is to go back to the mountains. “But the one thing I liked more than anything was escaping up a mountain. It was probably the only thing I’ve ever excelled at. When the show came to my ‘disabled only’ gym, I suggested trying to snowboard – jokingly, thinking that they’d never go for it. I was just hoping to get that flying feeling again”, the man observed.

Yusuf and Graham met at the Big Life Fix. Yusuf is also a snowboarder. “It made sense to me – revisiting the mountain and trying to conquer it again. “We had a session at an indoor snow centre where Graham struggled just to stand on a board for a few seconds. The prospect of finding a solution that worked was daunting”, the engineer explained.

The inventor built sturdy crutches that fastened to the board to allow Naylor to control his movements with his arms. He took his hand-welded design to snowboard company Burton, which created a prototype.

Yusuf believes this design offers a new way of utilising a snowboard as a rehab tool for people trying to stand. He now hopes to find a manufacturer who wants to take it to market. “And I’m still in contact with Graham – he’s such a good laugh and so enthusiastic, it’s hard not to get swept up in his ideas.”

Adapted from: https://bit.ly/2LZAAPW

More info: http://www.yusufm.com/project5.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCT7ltEV9tg

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

About the author

Yusuf Muhammad, who lives in the UK, is an inventor, industrial designer and engineer. He is a fixer at the TV show Big Life Fix, where makers are connected to patients with needs. He created special crutches that allow Graham Naylor, a disabled man, to go to the mountains again and have fun in the snow.

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