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BLOG: Local man's invention gives freedom to people in wheelchairs

by Maggie O'Mara

Bio | Email | Follow: @maggiektvb7


Posted on September 28, 2009 at 6:36 AM

Updated Thursday, Oct 22 at 11:10 AM

Changing Lives!


This week's Seven's Hero is truly making a difference in the lives of people who use wheelchairs. Patrick Dougherty was in a motorcross accident close to seven years ago - afterwards he found himself paralyzed and using a wheelchair.

It was frustrating for him, he knew there had to be a better way to get around more easily! So he invented something in his garage, that turns a wheelchair into a three wheel roadster... check it out:

The FreeWheel Wheelchair Attachment

Freewheel 1.jpg

It simply clamps on to the footrest of a wheelchair, lifts the front wheels of the chair, and makes it easier to navigate bumpy city streets, and grass. Pat invented this in his garage, and says he's getting calls from around the world from people who want one! This past weekend, Lacey Heward (a 2002 paralympian medalist) of Boise used her FreeWheel in the St. Luke's Women's Fitness Celebration. She told us the FreeWheel gives her feel so much more FREEDOM.

Pat agrees with that! He can do just about anything with his kids now, and says he gets sheer joy out of watching people use it. His goal, is to one day get a FreeWheel in the hands of every person out there who wants one.

One day, he hopes to move out of his garage shop, and mass produce them. Something tells me he just may do that! Pat has a lot of determination...

Freewheel 4.jpg

If you'd like more information on Pat Dougherty's FreeWheel, or if you want to contact him - you can do that on his website: