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Parents create a track-chair for their paralysed son

Shared by Sara Di Fabio on 2020-04-20 13:11

About the solution

Tim Swenson and his wife Donna have a son, Jeff, who remained paralysed after a car accident in 1998. "But I always thought about how can I get Jeff back outdoors and off the hard surface?" Tim said. Having 30 years of experience in the motorsports business, Tim was able to design an off-road electric chair to help his son and others like him.

"We just started using some of the things I knew about snowmobiles and ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) ... along with electric wheelchair components. And we started building," Tim said. The tracks used for the chair are similar to snowmobile tracks. The chair is controlled by a joystick and can travel up to 4 mph. The size of the chair is adjustable to fit children and adults. Moreover, the chair can be equipped with trays, toolboxes, and gun racks.

"One of the biggest fears people in wheelchairs have is falling out of their chair," Tim said. "The chairs all come with a tilt so if you're going up and down hills ... you can maintain your chair being level."

The first track-chair was sold in 2009 in Minnesota after, in 2008, Tim and his wife established Action Manufacturing Inc. The second version of the track-chair allows paralysed people to stand up. "There are some standing units out there for people that are on concrete but nothing off-road," Tim said. "I started thinking about how can we help these people stand up and be outdoors or working."

The second version of the track-chair allows paralysed people to slowly stand up with the joystick, there are knee supports and a seat belt to sustain them and also an optional shoulder harness. "When you can stand up, now you can go back working, you can paint the house, do some welding or build things outdoors," Tim said.

Captain Michael Boucher, who had both his legs amputee by an improvised explosive device, while serving his country in Afghanistan, received the track-chair through the Semper Fi Fund that provides aid to injured US military members. The track-chair allowed Michael to go back to hunting and fishing.

By 2014, 1900 track-chairs were manufactured. Today the Action Trackchair is distributed throughout the USA and abroad. The device is covered by some private insurance companies and some grants are available for people in need to apply.

Adapted from: https://edition.cnn.com/2013/10/16/tech/innovation/all-terrain-wheelchai...
More information: http://actiontrackchair.com/about/
https://vimeo.com/128918016
https://vimeo.com/128918016

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

Tim Swenson and his wife Donna from the USA founded Action Manufacturing Inc. in 2008 because of the track-chair they built for their paralysed son, Jeff. Tim has more than 30 years of experience in the motorsports business. The track-chair has been manufactured also for injured veterans and people with other physical impairments. By 2014, 1900 track chairs were manufactured.

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