In 2012, Chris Palmer contracted an aggressive form of cancer which paralysed him from the waist down. Doctors told him that he would never be able to walk again, and that was exactly what he feared – not being able to walk his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day.
“When I lay in the hospital after the operation, one of the first things I thought about was my daughter’s wedding and how I wasn’t going to be able to walk her down the aisle."
Last year, his daughter Heather chanced upon an article about a company that makes exoskeletal suits, and that was the solution they were looking for. The company happily agreed to lend Chris the suit to fulfill his dream.
Exoskeletal suits enable some paralysed people to walk and stand without assistance, and after a few practice sessions, Chris was ready for Heather’s big day. “It’s wonderful I can do this – it’s fulfilling something that dads do,” says Chris.
Seeing how her father managed to achieve his dream, Heather hopes that many others out there who face similar situations can find the support and help they need to fulfill their dreams. There are different forms of technology and services available to provide assistance to people with disabilities, and Heather hopes that these forms of support gain more exposure so that people who desire to incorporate them into their lives are able to do so.
Chris’s ability to walk Heather down the aisle is not only a dream for him, but also a dream for Heather herself. “It is really overwhelming that my dad is able to walk me down the aisle,” she shares.
What other forms of assistive technology and services have helped you? Share them with us to provide more exposure to these forms of support!