New device to control safety devices for power wheelchairs
Organized by: Jim McManus
My name is Jim McManus. I am from Garner, NC. I lost both my legs below the knee (BBK) in the fall of 2011 due to complications from diabetes. When a person faces a traumatic life experience, it marks a turning point. You either go backward or forward. Life is not static. We cannot always control what happens to us but we can decide how we are going to respond.
I chose to accept my condition. If I could have my legs back, I would not want them if it meant giving up the experiences I enjoyed since losing them. Every day I had the opportunity to share my story in conversation and action with friends and strangers alike.
I am fortunate to have a loving family, great friends and a supportive community. I have a handicapped van that I drive using hand controls. I have a power wheelchair and super prosthesis. These enable me to go anywhere and at any time I wish. As great as these amenities have been, it wasn't enough.
As a tinkerer, I was always doing things to improve my chair (at least in my opinion). I was backing out our driveway one day and a thought hit me. I slammed on the brakes, looked at my wife and pointing at the backup camera, I said, "I have to have one of these on my chair". She knew that I would not rest (meaning even go to bed) until I achieved success with this "new" project.
Over time I added one device after another including a secondary power system, backup camera, led head and tail lights, horn and a USB port for charging my cell phone while out and about. As I said earlier, my resources enabled me out in the public frequently.
Everywhere I went, people would ask about my chair modifications. When I said that I made them myself, many would ask if I would do that for them. I responded by graciously declining the opportunity. This phenomena continued until I finally decided that I had a responsibility to share my creations with other wheelchair users.
POWERchair PLUS was born out of my desire to make a difference. As of May, 2014 we will be in the final stages of engineering design of the console control device. Our initial production run will be for 100 units. The funds that we seek through this campaign will be used to underwrite an extensive sales trip across the state of North Carolina recruiting power wheelchair dealers to carry our product.
Your support is greatly appreciated.