There is no such thing as a car wreck that “turns out good”, but for one special couple, the experience turned out to be one that they would never forget. Liz and Brad Soden went through a horrific wreck back in 1999 when one of the tires on of their vehicle blew out and caused the automobile to start careening wildly out of control. Once the worst was over, Dan went to check on his wife.
This is when he realized that the true ordeal had just begun, as Liz was anything but okay. Her back was broken from the crash and she had become paralyzed from the waist down. Not only did she have to become adjusted to her new life as a paraplegic, but everyone else in the home would have to make certain adjustments as well. Being in a wheelchair is not a problem that most people will ever have to deal with on their own.
Families stick together during the hard times and Liz’s family rallied around her in a truly special way. One family outing was the impetus for a major change. The family attempted to go camping, but since Liz’s wheelchair kept getting stuck, she was unable to enjoy herself in the manner that she had typically grown accustomed to.
Liz was used to being her family’s caretaker and when she had to sit back and watch her five kids struggle with their usual tasks, this led to a realization for her husband. Brad decided to start building a far more mobile wheelchair and this is a project that would take him two years to complete. The end result? The Speedster, a chair that can travel at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.
Thanks to this wheelchair, she is now able to keep up with her family and no longer gets stuck in the back lagging behind the crowd. From there, the chair was given some further alterations, so that it could become what is now known as a “tank chair”. Its enormous triangular treads allow Liz to traverse any terrain and enjoy the same activities that she always has.
The chair that Brad devised is now being sold commercially and thanks to his efforts, more paralyzed citizens are able to enjoy a fuller existence. Wheelchairs do not have to be a limiting experience and thanks to the efforts of Brad and other like minded individuals, those who are paralyzed are no longer restricted. Please share this story to spread further awareness.