College Students Help ALS Patient Tell His Wife He Loves Her

College students from the Oklahoma Christian University are helping an ALS sufferer communicate with his wife again. Sixty-four-year-old Carl Phelps from Oklahoma was diagnosed with bulbar onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in April 2015. The disease’s first symptoms appear in the mouth and many patients experience problems talking, eating and eventually, breathing.

MORE: 16 fast facts about ALS

According to a report on today.com, Carl’s speech deteriorated quickly, forcing him to use written and sign language as a way of communicating with his family and friends. But as ALS took hold, he lost the use of his hands so he no longer had any way of communicating.

Carl and his wife Janice met a group of students at an ALS support group who were building an affordable eye gaze communication device, using computers and eye trackers to allow patients to pick out words on a screen. Carl agreed to be a tester for the VisuALS device and has been providing valuable input to help the team improve the design. He’s come up with some useful phrases and a pause button to allow patients extra time to think about what they want to say. He is now able to tell his wife how much he loves her on a daily basis.

MORE: Explaining the progression of ALS

ALS News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

One comment

  1. Syren Akopov says:

    Made device for reading human thoughts / human mind reading machine / Brain computer interface. In particular, I have created a perfect Speech Generating Device for people with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / ALS. Assistive technology or Augmentative and alternative communication. About the problem look : Jack Gallant, Tom Mitchell and Marcel Just; John – Dylan Haynes, human mind reading machine.
    The discovery has not been published.
    http://neurosciencenews.com/text-thought-bci-5345/

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *