Device could be ‘life-changing’ for injured HT grad
By Gary Lloyd
A Hewitt-Trussville High School graduate left paralyzed and ventilator-dependent in an off-road accident two years ago is in need of a device that would give his right arm full range of motion.
Jamison Franklin’s father, Chuck Franklin, said the family is trying to raise money to purchase a WREX exoskeleton for his right arm, a device that helps his muscles lift and move his arm by removing the weight created by gravity.
“We have a similar device now but it has limited function and only allows him to move his arm back and forth and up and down,” Chuck Franklin said. “The WREX will allow him a full range of motion and should, with practice, allow him to operate a computer keyboard, scratch his nose, feed himself, operate a joystick, and many other things.”
The device, with the mounting hardware to mount to Jamison’s chair, plus shipping, will cost close to $2,500. The family is trying to raise $2,600 to cover the device plus the cost of hosting the fundraiser at www.indiegogo.com.
Jamison, 19, has regained some movement in all four limbs but has really gained a lot of movement and strength in his right arm. The WREX device would allow increased functionality and assist with further rehab efforts.
The Franklin family has set up a fundraiser page at www.indiegogo.com. To donate, visit that website and search “Jamison Franklin.” The page is titled “Please Help My Son Regain Use Of His Arms.”
“This device has the promise of being life-changing for him,” Chuck Franklin said.
Jamison was critically injured Jan. 24, 2011, when an off-road auto accident left him paralyzed from the neck down. He fractured his neck at C1-C2 and his back at T4-T5-T6. Three days after the accident, doctors thought Jamison’s chances of survival were slim. Chuck Franklin and his wife, Holly, decided to wait and see, and the next day Jamison woke up and was fully cognitive despite brain swelling.
Franklin spent a little over a month in the intensive care unit at UAB Hospital before being moved to The Shepherd Center in Atlanta, a hospital that specializes in spinal cord injuries.
Contact Gary Lloyd at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.