A loving husband, inspired by his wife’s unfortunate accident, restores her freedom and independence with a gas burnin’, mud spittin’, mountain conquering bad ass wheel chair.
7 years ago life as the Sodens knew it took a turn. Liz and Brad were involved in an accident after their tire blew near Parker, Arizona and the car went flying. Liz broke her back and doctors told her she would never walk again. Prior to that day, Liz had big plans. She was a school bus driver and was working to join the sheriff’s department. Now everything was different.
What didn’t change, however, was the Soden’s love of outdoors. Liz and Brad, together, have 5 kids and the 7 of them liked to camp. But before Liz was the “do-er,” and now she could do nothing. They would sit her down near the campfire and she would watch. She felt useless and it drove her to tears. In 2002 the Sodens were stay in a cabin in the woods, to their surprise a herd of elk came walking through there camp. The kids having never seen an elk before, woke up and rushed outside. Liz got in her power chair and wanted to see the elk too. As she went outside the elk had moved on about 100 yards and you could not see them through the dense trees. As they started walking closer they had to keep stopping to help Liz get her power chair unstuck from the soft dirt surrounding the cabin. By the time Brad and Liz could get through the trees, the elk had gone. It was at that moment Brad felt compelled to act. “I wanted her to have no obstacles,” he says, “we look at it as just ’cause you’re disabled doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time.” Brad stepped into his garage to work on a solution that would enable his wife to go where no other wheel chair bound person had gone before. People scoffed, Brad was a plumber and a fireman, how could he come up with a powerful, motorized wheel chair? But somehow Liz knew her husband would do it. Two years later, he did.
It took me 2 years and I tried everything I could think of. Pneumatic tires, bigger wheels, stronger motors, and my favorite, a hellish jet ski/snowmobile looking thing with wheels. The last one was ugly, expensive, and will make someone a strong anchor. My father-in-law was in my garage one day and I was complaining about my latest plight and he said, “Wouldn’t it be neat if you could put some tracks on it? Like a tank?”
Best of all, “For every 10 chairs sold, TankChair is going to donate one to a fire department in a rural area so that they can give it away to someone who would not normally be able to afford one.”
A round of applause, with our hats off, to you sir.
Tank Chair product page…
(hat tip: Coolest Gadgets)