Special cart helps paralyzed man return to golf course
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) - For an active person, it'shard to imagine what life would be like if you tragically lost your ability touse your limbs - but that's exactly what happened to Shane Barryhill.
At age 43, Barryhill fell, landed head first and sustained aclosed-head injury.
"I'm a T6/T7 complete paraplegic from here down," saidBarryhill, pointing from his chest toward his toes. "It's devastating."
Barryhill said before his accident, he was an active guy whoenjoyed sports. While at the time of his accident Barryhill had a great familysupport system, he said he never imagined being able to be active again.
"That's something I never dreamed of," said Barryhill. "Itnever crossed my mind."
That was before Barryhill heard about the Standup and PlayFoundation. The nonprofit gives people with impaired mobility the opportunityto stand up and participate in sporting, artistic or daily activities.
Through Standup and Play, Barryhill was given a six-monthtrial use for what's called a Paramobile.
"There's a lot of assistive devices, mobile wheelchairs, butnothing as detailed as this," said Barryhill.
The device is an electronic wheelchair which safely standsthe rider upright.
"It just changed my life," Barryhill said. "It completelyjust opened up a vast array of things that I can do outside -- archery,basketball, fishing and golf again to a degree that I never thought possible."
Doctors say the benefit of the Paramobile are not onlymental, but also physical.
"When you are supine, you are losing muscle strength," saidWarrick McZeke, a rehabilitative specialist at Vibra Hospital of Charleston."When you're able to get up and start moving those muscles, then you're goingto be able to strengthen them versus - watching those muscles go to waste."
Barryhill now spends his time traveling and demonstratingthe Paramobile for other folks with impaired mobility.
"Just gives them a little bit of hope for what they have tolook forward to," Barryhill said.
You can sponsor a ParaGolfer candidate or simply donate tothe Stand Up and Play Foundation at www.stand-up-and-play.com.For general donations, click the "Donate" button on the right hand side.