Veteran Gains Mobility
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Army veteran Tyler Wilson is getting a chance to broaden his horizons after receiving the gift of a vehicle that aids mobility. This is all due to the non profit Quality Life Plus who was able to work with the Colorado School of Mines. The sizable donation has been put into good use with the mission of creating “adaptive devices and technologies to push performance limits for disabled athletes.” And for Wilson especially, it breeds new hope. Wilson was injured in Afghanistan in 2005, becoming a paraplegic, but with the use of a sit-ski is an avid skier. Mechanical engineering students are designing a wagon-style system that would assist Wilson in transporting his sit-ski, independently, to and from ski lifts.

The funds will buy equipment for measuring, prototyping and fabricating innovative, custom devices to boost the independence of injured veterans, said Joel Bach, director of Mines’ Human Centered Design Studio.” Such support creates confidence and builds a person up and allows them to see their full potential.  This donation has changed the game of helping veterans with mobility after a life altering injury.

Wilson has served our country proudly and has a family that he likes to spend time with them and make the most of the opportunities. Wilson truly believes that this opportunity will “open new doors for me,” and has changed his perspective and given him more independence. Wilson was wheelchair bound after a bullet that became lodged in the spine when he was serving in Afghanistan in 2005. After being introduced to the notion of adaptive sports, one that Wilson connected with hand cycling among the Colorado’s mountains. That’s when Mines stepped in and joined efforts for veterans that are currently immobilized to help them bridge the gaps that was created throughout their injury.

Another facet of this program is involving students! Their involvement creates a sense of purpose that is cultivated in the younger generation and any progress will only further what is to come.

This donation has the power to change lives of those injured, their families and the course of preventive measures. The lab itself works with advancements in science. For example, once your blood type is recognized those working in the lab “the lab now uses 3-D technology to better analyze the body types of the veterans to make devices that suit each individual, Bach said. “Everybody is different, and everyone has different needs. We just don’t want to take a one-size-fits-all approach to something so important.” And that’s a game changer and gives those in need the opportunity to grow and flourish.