Man with paralysis credits app for improving his life

KIRKLAND, Wash. (KCPQ) – Medical professionals are calling a new app a ‘game changer’ for people who can’t move their arms.  It’s called Sesame Enable.  The app helps people with neurological diseases like the ones caused by Multiple Sclerosis to regain their independence.

“Ok, Google.  Open Sesame,” said Gary Fisher, who has multiple sclerosis.

In this instance it’s not about a hidden treasure.  But this kind of “open sesame” unleashes the independence Fisher had snatched away.

“He has a progressive form of MS and this has resulted in him losing the ability to walk and the use of his hands,” said Director of Neuro-Rehabilitation at Evergreen Health Multiple Sclerosis Center Dr. Ted Brown.

MS began to eat away at Gary’s abilities 10 years ago and left him alone and isolated.

“He was pretty depressed because I work full-time so he was alone watching TV. It would timeout and freeze,” said Eileen Fisher, Gary’s wife.

But the Sesame Enable app changed that.

“It’s just been a godsend,” said Gary Fisher.

The app senses his head movements to give instructions.  Anything someone else can do with their hand on a computer mouse, Gary can do with his head.

“If I see something I want to look up on the internet, if I want to look up a car or something, I can go on the internet.  Anything you can do on the internet, I can do, too,” said Fisher.

Gary and his wife have kids and grandchildren they’re trying to keep up with.  Now, Gary can do that without having to ask for help.

“If they wanna order pizza, they can get on the dial and order on their own.  If someone calls, they can answer the phone on their own and they can even text message to people using this technology,” said Brown.

Gary is smiling again. The app is helping him live a longer, happier, and healthier life.

“He’s reading things. He’s working his mind for concentration for memory. And even breathing exercises are important,” said Brown.

Eileen has her husband back.

“It truly just gave him something to look forward to everyday,” said Eileen Fisher.

Currently, the app only works for android products, but the makers are working on improvements.  Brown says this app deserves to become well-known because it can help so many patients.  Brown is looking forward to more advancements that can connect the app to wheelchairs and over household devices to improve the quality of life for his patients.

Story from KCPQ