10/25/2013 04:24AM ● Published by Style
Roseville resident Brian Watwood’s life was changed forever the night he was hit by a car while biking home just four miles from his house.
A 38-year-old avid skier and athlete at the time, he awoke in the hospital to learn he was paralyzed from the chin down. Fortunately, Watwood was able to regain limited mobility after several spinal surgeries, but found he would need a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
Although the experience was devastating, Watwood soon found a means to redirect his creative energies. He was still in recovery, struggling to push his wheelchair up to a water fountain, when he had a sudden inspiration to create a lever system—now known as the Wijit® (wijit.com)—which makes driving and braking a wheelchair easier and more ergodynamic for the disabled. For his efforts, Watwood is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including membership in the National Hall of Fame for Persons with Disabilities. He is also a passionate advocate for disability rights, believing that all disabled persons should be given the opportunity to be active members of their society. “It’s been a long, hard journey, but it’s wonderful to be dedicated to helping disabled people,” Watwood shares.
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