Leeton Farmer donates NeuroNode Trilogy to Hospital
Brian Walsh's generous donation will allow MND patients to maintain communication with loved ones after they lose the ability to move.
Leeton farmer Brian Walsh has generously presented a NeuroNode Trilogy to the Motor Neuron Disease Clinic at Macquarie University Hospital.
Brian’s son Dean suffered massive brain injuries during a car crash in 2012. The accident left Dean quadriplegic and unable to speak. As part of his recovery, the NSW CTP Insurance Scheme funded a NeuroNode for Dean.
NeuroNode is a world-leading communication system produced by Australian company Control Bionics. It picks up tiny electrical signals inside a muscle – even if the muscle no longer functions properly – and turns them into controls for an iPad, iPhone or personal computer.
“When we got a NeuroNode in to let Dean try it, he took to it right away,” Brian recalls. “For the first time, he was able to respond to questions about how he was feeling. The NeuroNode sensor sits on his write and when he wants to make a signal, he just imagines moving his hand and we can hear the results on his iPad.”
Brian was so impressed by the effect on Dean and his family and carers that he decided to donate NeuroNodes to hospitals and clinics that could also benefit from the system. The MND Clinic is one of those fortunate recipients. The NeuroNode donated to Macquarie is a new generation machine, the NeuroNode Trilogy, which combines the neuroelectric controls of NeuroNode with an eye tracker. It enables a user to highlight any character or object on a computer screen simply by looking at it, then choosing or launching it by sending a neuroelectric signal to their NeuroNode.
Neurologist Professor Dominic Rowe shares, “The NeuroNode is already helping people with the effects of MND. This disease does not generally affect their cognition or ability to think. Use of the Trilogy means many more patients will be able to maintain communication, even when they lose movement.”
Brian Walsh plans to continue raising funds for more donations: inspired by the care provided to his son and seeking to turn the experience a personal disaster into an extraordinary program of philanthropy. “This device helps out amazingly well, to connect Dean to all of us. We’re really grateful for the professional care showed him when working to save his life. Now we want to do as much as we can to help others benefit from this NeuroNode technology.”