From Wheels to Water: Bob Swiney is the Ultimate Lake Guy

a woman smiling
Curated by
Kieran Kern
Content via Live Quickie Blog
Live Quickie Blog
Curated by
Kieran Kern

Bob Swiney’s young life was spent lakeside: swimming, boating, and waterskiing. When he was paralyzed in a car accident driving back to school from the lake in his second year of college, Bob was determined to hang on to his passion for being the ‘lake guy’. 

paraplegic man floats in the water with a woman and a dog

For his first opportunity to get back in and on the water, Bob and his fraternity brothers went back to Table Rock Lake in Missouri. Heeding his doctors’ and therapists’ advice that he wouldn’t be able to swim like he did previously, Bob put on a life jacket and a swim belt. His brothers lowered him into the water and watched to see if he would sink or float. Having successfully floated, Bob took off his swim belt and life jacket.

SCI or not Bob had cemented to himself that he was indeed still ‘lake guy’. In time, he and his parents .built a house at Table Rock Lake. Access was considered from the beginning, doors were wide enough for wheelchair navigation and there was a ramp to get inside.

wheelchair accessible ramp at a lake house

Getting to the dock wasn’t problematic. "Wheeling back up the hill was a different story," Bob explains. He made key investments to get from the house to the dock and the dock to the water: a golf cart to get around the property, with his chair in tow, and a Hoyer pool lift mounted to his dock. The lift enables Bob to go swimming or get into the drive seat of his boat.

Whether piloting the boat or riding the Jet-Ski, no adaptations are necessary.

"A lot of people don't realize it, but boats use a throttle so you don't need special hand controls."

Today the businessman, husband, and father makes a weekend of wakeboarding or tubing at that same lake house with his wife and kids a priority. A beautiful lake day is too good to pass up!

Share this post with someone who can’t wait to get in and on the water like Bob!

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