After putting their heads together, some Town of Comox staff members came up with an innovative design to a piece of exercise equipment that is helping a wheelchair user regain his strength.
Though Lance Dezall has been classified as a quadriplegic, he has some use of his arms and legs. He works out each Tuesday at the Comox Recreation Centre under the tutelage of trainer Jill Nelson.
Nelson needed to get Dezall on his feet, but there was nothing on the market that could help. So the staffers rigged a stand with a padded leg support, which they added to the multi-use Matrix machine. With his feet on the ground and his weight supported by the pad, Dezall is able to lift a stack of weights.
“What they’ve built here is a custom-made standing frame, that’s what I call it,” Nelson said.
The staff members behind the creation include Doug Pollard, Glen Cummings, John Dove and Glenn Hascarl.
“We put things together for people,” Pollard said. “We fit some pieces together, and did some welding and cutting and splicing, and this is what we came up. It seems to work for him. That’s what we aimed for.”
“He’s happy, it’s helping him out,” Cummings added.
Dezall, 55, broke his neck (C5, C6 vertebrae) in an accident last January in Oliver, B.C. He had been helping a friend with a snowmobile.
After the accident, Dezall spent five weeks in hospital and another four months at the GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre in Vancouver. Since then, his body has been getting stronger by the workout.
“It’s helped me in a big way,” the Courtenay resident said of the invention. “This is a great thing, and hopefully it can help others. I think it will.”
“Positive attitude,” Dezall added, pointing to his head. “Gotta’ have that.”