Move Over MacGyver, Here’s McGreevy

by Quest Staff on November 1, 2008 - 10:36am

QUEST Vol. 15, No. 6

Brian McGreevy can’t hoist himself up by his bootstraps, so he gets a lift from his mechanized drafting table instead.

Brian McGreevy, on the rise

McGreevy, 39, has limb-girdle muscular dystrophy. He can walk, carefully, using crutches, but to do so he has to lock his knees so his legs are straight. Then he can execute what he calls a “four-point” walking gait.

Getting up and getting his legs straight is no easy task, however, since he can’t rise under his own power from a sitting to a standing position.

Enter the drafting table. It’s an oldie but goodie, with a motor to raise and lower its flat working surface.

When McGreevy is sitting on his work stool at the table, he leans forward until his belt buckle hangs up on the top front edge of the table, then presses the button that operates the lift mechanism. Voila! In a few seconds the powerful motor has tugged him upright, and he can lock his legs for walking.

If McGreevy sounds like a man with ingenious solutions to uncommon challenges, that’s correct. Named MDA’s California Personal Achievement Award recipient for 2007, he’s invented other gadgets that help him get in and out of bed and his Jeep SUV. Now he’s hoping to find a manufacturer who can put his ideas into mass production.

In the meantime he’s got a full plate at work as senior database administrator for CORPTAX, a company that creates tax filing software for large corporations.

Oh, and he’s available. “I’m a great date — just looking for Miss Right,” he says.

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