TAMPA (FOX 13) - The James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa is one of the premier treatment centers in the country for spinal cord injuries. Now a new piece of technology developed there is opening the world for paralyzed veterans.
Marine Corps veteran Greg Starman was left paralyzed by an accident. But with his mouth, he controls the "QuadJoy." It's a computer mouse he operates with puffs and sips. Starman can use any electronic device connected to it.
"You got a curser. You can move around and get on the internet and type," Starman said.
Veteran Michael Dawsey uses it to play his favorite game -- chess.
"It relaxes me," Dawsey said with a smile. "And sometimes it can get mindboggling but I hang on in there."
Moving the pieces using sips and puffs on the QuadJoy, Dawsey is able to compete with other players from all over the world.
Patients can use it to Google and email, or call a nurse or adjust their bed. They even navigate Facebook -- to the surprise of their loved ones.
"There was a family member who was upset because her spouse's Facebook account was hacked," recalled Dr. Kevin White, a physician who treats patients at Haley. "In reality, the patient was now able to use his own Facebook."
For more information on QuadJoy: http://www.tampa.va.gov/features/Technology_Provides_Lifeline_to_Outside_World.asp