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Boise inventor giving people in wheelchairs more independence

Posted at 10:29 PM, Jun 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-11 00:30:25-04

From windsurfing to motocross, Pat Dougherty did it all but in 2003 his life changed forever. 

"I was hit while racing my motorcycle in the head and it broke my neck, and that left me a quadriplegic I am fortunate to have as much use of my fingers as do," said Pat Daugherty inventor of the FreeWheel.  

For Pat, his biggest worry was not being able to keep up with his kids. So the engineer turned to his workshop and in 2010 invented the FreeWheel. It's patented design clamps onto the chair, lifts up the front wheels, allowing it to roll over rough terrain with ease.

"Snow and gravel and dirt and grass that's what I need to get over so to be able to put a FreeWheel on myself and go out and be independent chase my kids, that's what I'm after," said Daugherty.  

Pat's invention is helping countless people not just around the country but across the globe. It was even used by athletes during this month's LIMBitless Challenge at Table Rock.  Now Pat's encouraging others to get out by joining "Team FreeWheel." The company pays the way for racers who use a FreeWheel.  

"To go to a 5k or a 10k, we even have people doing full marathons by putting a FreeWheel on their wheelchair and pushing 26 miles, it's fantastic," explained Daugherty.

The FreeWheel is also available for folding wheelchairs, to learn more click here.