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SpecialEffect News

20 Jun 2017

Jamie's StarGaze support

Jamie was a scaffolder and semi-pro footballer with Frome FC before he lost his lower arms, his left lower leg and part of his right foot following a severe electric shock when a scaffolding pole he was lifting touched an overhead electric cable.

The hospital asked us to visit him in intensive care and we set him up with an eye-controlled computer that let him keep in touch with the outside world by sending emails to his family and controlling his television. Psychologically this made a huge positive difference for him.

Below: Jamie uses his eyes to control a computer that's mounted where he can use it comfortably.

If you’re wondering where video games fit into this type of ‘emergency’ intervention, they're rarely an initial priority. For the last ten years we’ve been using our expertise in eye-gaze and other highly specialised technology to help people regain a degree of communication and independence when they need it most - as soon as possible after a serious life-changing illness or injury leaves them severely injured or paralysed, and even sometimes unable to speak.

This work is carried out through our StarGaze Project, and at the moment we’re supporting nearly 50 people. Patient confidentiality means you don’t hear as much about this aspect of our work as our video games support, but the impact can be just as life transforming. As with our video games help, it’s a service provided without charge and with no strings attached. Find out more here.

Jamie’s now back home and we’ll continue to offer him lifelong support, adapting technology as his needs change. Since he came out of intensive care, one priority has been to find a way to enable him to play video games again with his children and we’re currently loaning him a customised system to help him use gaming as a way to enhance that all-important bond with his children.

If you’d like to support Jamie and his family, visit his GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/raising-money-for-jamie-mines

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