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After suffering a complete spinal cord injury, Donna Cadwallader of St. Joseph, Missouri, is learning to navigate life with limited mobility. While rehabilitating at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals in Lincoln, Nebraska, Donna was exposed to the AC 20 Assistive Control Adapter, a device that gave her a first taste at independence since her injury.

“I don’t have to yell for the nurse just have my TV channel changed and don’t have to wait for somebody to turn on or off the lights in my room. With the AC20, I have control of that,” Donna said.

Because her injury has affected movement in her hands, Donna navigates the AC20 by using her wrist or elbow to push a large red button. The device’s programming allows her to control her hospital room environment and to communicate her needs directly and succinctly with her nurses.

“If I need the nurse and want something to drink, I like the option on the AC20 that allows me to tell the nurse that I need a drink, need to go to the bathroom or whatever it is I need,” she said.

Donna said the only thing she wished about the Assistive Control Adapter is that she would have had access to it sooner. “I didn’t have any strength at all in my hands prior to coming to Madonna,” she said. “So I could have used my elbow to call the nurse, change channels or turn on the lights rather than have to yell for a nurse when I needed help in my previous hospital. The AC20 absolutely would have been beneficial to use there.”

The AC20 gives patients lacking hand control the ability to use sip-and-puff devices, button switches, or other types of sensors to call the nurse, control the TV, adjust lighting, and even open shades and drapes