Don and Lorraine have been married for 25 years, during which time they have run a farm, raised three children, and shared their lives. When Don was diagnosed with ALS in 1995, their lives were forever altered. Don’s motor function gradually deteriorated, and within five years he was on a ventilator and unable to speak. Lorraine admits that losing his voice was difficult for her.
Lorraine, on the other hand, persisted, taking on Don’s responsibilities for their business while caring for him and their children.
Lorraine overheard Mick Ebeling of Not Impossible Labs on the radio one day and contacted him to see if he could assist her husband. Mick’s company creates technologically accessible solutions for health, mobility, and communication. and went up to him to see if he could help.
Don had been communicating with Lorraine by pointing his eyes at a letter board. Recognizing the potential for computer technology to replicate and improve on this process, Mick and a group of volunteers set to work creating something to help Don speak.
They created a program and a device that allows Don to quickly scan the screen, stringing words together into sentences and simulating an audible voice.
Don could speak quickly and share what was on his mind after 15 years. What was one of the first things he said? «I can’t imagine my life without you, Lorraine.» You made the last 25 years fly by, and the last 20 years with ALS bearable. I can’t wait to spend the next 20 years with you. Don, love.»
Watch the rest of this touching story below, and be prepared to cry.