Quadriplegic Drummer

a woman smiling
Curated by
Kristen Sachs
Content via In The News
In The News
Curated by
Kristen Sachs

Alan grew up around music, so it’s no wonder it’s always been a part of his life. When Alan was young, he picked up a pair of drum sticks, and fell in love.

“I just wanted so much to do it,” he shares. “Whether I was doing it right or not didn’t matter. It was the stimulation of hitting something.”

quadriplegic drummer

The self-taught drummer’s skills improved with practice. And as a young adult, he became a member of a band called the Lifters. And just as the band was working hard to get signed to a record label, Alan’s life took a drastic turn. He was involved in a vehicle accident that left him an incomplete quadriplegic.

While in a rehab hospital following his injury, Alan eventually learned to stand, take steps, and also sign his name. But his coordination and muscle strength were still weak.

“I’d have people bringing me sticks to leave by my bedside. I’d try to do a stroke on a pillow and watch the stick fly out of my right hand.”

Alan kept practicing, and soon found himself in front of a drum set again. But with muscle weakness in his right foot – which operates the bass drum – Alan wasn’t sure he would be able to continue his passion.

But there was a solution! Alan found a company called Ddrum that makes a headset with a microphone that users speak into and an electronic bass drum sound is produced. Alan began incorporating the headset into his drum setup, and found himself back in business!

He now sits in on a regular basis with a band at a local establishment in Maryland.

“Other than meeting and falling in love with my wife, Jane, I don’t think I know anything that gives me the fulfillment that being in front of people does. I really enjoy it so much. I know that I’m much more than the wheels that are under me and the crutches that hold me when I try to walk.”

Have you discovered adaptations that help you pursue your favorite activity following an injury? Let us know about it, and you could be featured on AbleThrive!

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