Craig Hospital volunteer helps provide patients with familiarityFargo, ND (WDAY TV) - When people are handed a life changing, debilitating injury, it would be easy for a lot of us to give up doing the things we love; Hunting, fishing, exercising.
By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - When people are handed a life changing, debilitating injury, it would be easy for a lot of us to give up doing the things we love; Hunting, fishing, exercising.
Last week, we brought you the inspirational stories of Fargo families going through the journey of rehab after paralyzing or traumatic brain injuries.
Daily physical therapy, exhausting and challenging for local Craig Hospital Patients, Jason Larkin and Lexi Bolstad of Fargo.
Just down the hall from physical therapy is a Santa's workshop of sorts. Rehab engineering where volunteers work tirelessly to adapt fishing rods and guns to patients can go home and continue their hobbies.
Peter Pauwels/Craig Hospital Volunteer: “I have been doing this while I was working, for 20 years,”
In a small non-descript room here at Craig Hospital in Denver, volunteer Peter Pauwels works on perfecting yet another invention that will keep rehab patients in the game.
”You may not be able to use your thumb but you may be able to hold it with one hand and hit it with the palm of another.”
There are rods with these simple adaptations, but there are others with motors.
Pauwels: “You can cast and retrieve one handed, so if I sip,”
The sip and puff adaptation for those with no use of their hands.
Pauwels: “And when I release the command it goes forward.”
Even rods ones with pnuematic cylinders.
Pauwels: “So while you are reeling you can pull back on the hooking cylinder. And hook your fish.”
Then there is hunting, not uncommon for those in wheel chairs in our area to hunt,
Pauwels: “It is so much fun, you could not have a better hobby. When you sip on here, the solenoid pulls the trigger.”
And at Craig, there are guns now that can bring down an elk, with a simple switch or two.
A little ingenuity, a lot of thoughtfulness from volunteers, and that marriage with technology is changing the lives of those who leave through these doors and head home for good.
This story, along with our others from Craig Hospital featuring Fargo's Jason Larkin and Lexi Bolstad, are all featured on wday.com