Special cart helps paralyzed man return to golf course - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Special cart helps paralyzed man return to golf course

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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) – For an active person, it's hard to imagine what life would be like if you tragically lost your ability to use your limbs – but that's exactly what happened to Shane Barryhill.

At age 43, Barryhill fell, landed head first and sustained a closed-head injury.

"I'm a T6/T7 complete paraplegic from here down," said Barryhill, pointing from his chest toward his toes. "It's devastating."

Barryhill said before his accident, he was an active guy who enjoyed sports. While at the time of his accident Barryhill had a great family support system, he said he never imagined being able to be active again.

"That's something I never dreamed of," said Barryhill. "It never crossed my mind."

That was before Barryhill heard about the Standup and Play Foundation. The nonprofit gives people with impaired mobility the opportunity to stand up and participate in sporting, artistic or daily activities.

Through Standup and Play, Barryhill was given a six-month trial use for what's called a Paramobile.

"There's a lot of assistive devices, mobile wheelchairs, but nothing as detailed as this," said Barryhill.

The device is an electronic wheelchair which safely stands the rider upright.

"It just changed my life," Barryhill said. "It completely just opened up a vast array of things that I can do outside -- archery, basketball, fishing and golf again to a degree that I never thought possible."

Doctors say the benefit of the Paramobile are not only mental, but also physical.

"When you are supine, you are losing muscle strength," said Warrick McZeke, a rehabilitative specialist at Vibra Hospital of Charleston. "When you're able to get up and start moving those muscles, then you're going to be able to strengthen them versus - watching those muscles go to waste."

Barryhill now spends his time traveling and demonstrating the Paramobile for other folks with impaired mobility.

"Just gives them a little bit of hope for what they have to look forward to," Barryhill said.

You can sponsor a ParaGolfer candidate or simply donate to the Stand Up and Play Foundation at www.stand-up-and-play.com. For general donations, click the "Donate" button on the right hand side.

  • Valencia Wicker

    Email: vwicker@abcnews4.com Reporter Profile

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