Since Kevin Eubanks had a stroke in 2014, he has lost the ability to do many of the activities he formerly enjoyed, like fishing and properly hugging someone.
Emily Sisco, his daughter, now works as an assistant in occupational therapy and also teaches as an adjunct professor at Arkansas State University.
She wanted her students who were studying to become Occupational Therapy Assistants to get experience by working with a real client, so she gave them the job of designing a piece of adaptive equipment that could assist her father in doing a variety of chores.
Emily gave them a presentation on the concept by showing them a video of him going about his routine activities.
Following their viewing of the movie, the students also had a FaceTime interview with Kevin in order to get further information, such as his preferences. He spoke with them how much he missed going fishing, spending time with his grandchildren, and giving them bear hugs with both arms.
Because Kevin’s left arm was weak, the students came up with the idea for “The Hugger,” which has now been renamed “HugAgain,” a gadget that would enable him to administer two-armed embraces once again.
“Those who have poor or no function in one of their arms and desire the possibility to embrace again are the people for whom The Hugger was designed!! Hugging someone may be soothing and has many positive effects on your health .”
Students in the occupational therapy assistant program were the masterminds behind the ingenious equipment.
Emily took a video of Kevin’s emotional response when he used the HugAgain for the first time. In the video footage that lasts for three minutes, Emily shows the gadget to his father and assists him in putting it on.
Next, Kevin uses his right hand to grip the other end of the HugAgain, raises his arms, and invites the youngster in for a hug!
Almost instantly, he starts crying as he embraces his grandson with both arms, which is something that hasn’t happened in the last eight years.
Emily questioned Kevin about what he planned to say to the pupils, and Kevin responded as follows: “I am thankful for all that you guys have done. This has always been a goal of mine.”
Kevin paid a personal visit to the students at Arkansas State University in order to express his gratitude to them for developing the adapted equipment that has been of such great assistance to him throughout his life.
When asked about his video that went viral, Kevin remarked, “I hope it’s motivating others to never give up.
I want them to see that after eight years of not being able to embrace again, I finally can, so please don’t ever give up. It’s worth it.”
The students are actively working to enhance the functionality of HugAgain by refining and enhancing the design of the program.