Elderly people with Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia sometimes forget to use the manual brakes on their wheelchairs, which then fall out from under them when they try to stand or sit. When this was brought to the attention of crop farmer Jerry Ford, he decided to do something about it. His invention is a rather clever automatic brake system for manual wheelchairs. It’s even designed in a way that still allows the wheelchair to fold up for transport.
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Alana Nichols of the women’s wheelchair basketball team admits she likes going “really fast.” “I love feeling my heart beat,” she says. Her competitive spirit took over when she started playing wheelchair athletics. Nichols is amazed that she and her team won a gold medal on the exact anniversary of the day she broke her back. Now, she’s the first woman to win gold in both the Summer and Winter Paralympics.
More than 4,000 athletes from 150 countries are expected to compete at the London Paralympic Games, which open on August 29 and run through September 9, 2012.
Produced for PBS by WGBH Boston in association with the US Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee, Medal Quest is highlighting the singular stories of these athletes as they prepare to compete in the London 2012 games. The kid should see this.