gyrostim inventor

 

 

GyroStim was inspired by a family's desperate desire to help their daughter
overcome a severe brain injury. Inventor and CEO, Kevin Maher, has a
daughter born three months pre-term resulting in severe cerebral palsy.


Who invented GyroStim...and why?

In 1997, Mackenzie Maher came into the world three months too soon, resulting in a severe brain injury and a diagnosis of severe Spastic Quadriplegia cerebral palsy. Four years later, in 2002, struggling with a multitude of therapeutic challenges to meet their daughter’s needs, the Mahers were told by therapists that her profound balance problems would benefit from including intensive vestibular stimulation in her daily therapy program. Mackenzie was prescribed a regimen of hundreds of chair spins, log rolls, and somersaults -- every day in addition to her already rigorous and time-consuming daily therapy routine.

The Mahers were willing to take on this challenge but were soon disheartened and frustrated to find that there was no existing therapy equipment and no therapy clinic or program that could help them implement this added stimulation.
They had no choice than to roll up their sleeves and get to work tumbling, rolling, and spinning Mackenzie hundreds of times every day using office chairs and homemade props. Try as they did to keep up with the prescribed program, it was backbreaking work to administer and very challenging for Mackenzie to participate. To make matters worse, this additional vestibular therapy was taking too much time away from other therapy and daily activities.

There had to be a better way to provide Mackenzie with the therapy she so desperately needed.

Inspired by his daughter's needs, Kevin called on his 25 years of experience with robotics systems in the semiconductor manufacturing industry to create a solution. He came up with the idea to build a safe, comfortable and controllable rotating chair, that his daughter could comfortably sit in and be easily rotated as frequently, intensely, and for as long as was needed.

As he puts it, "with lots of inspiration and some help from above," Kevin envisioned and built the very first version of the GyroStim. Along with his wife, Rhonda, who was administering their daughter's therapy, the family put his invention to work as an adjunct therapy to her daily therapy program. The Mahers were elated with their daughter’s unexpected and rapid gains, not only in balance, but also in other gross and fine motor abilities, trunk control, energy level, speech, and overall attitude. It soon became apparent that the addition of this type of intensive vestibular stimulation triggered a cascade of additional significant gains well beyond their goal of simply improving her balance.

Kevin realized that his invention, which proved to be so beneficial for Mackenzie, could also help so many others with similar challenges and needs. He continued developing his rotating chair and soon his work captured the attention and approval of therapists, doctors, and researchers. Their acknowledgment of the immense need for his innovative device and their encouragement to bring it to market reinforced his decision to continue moving forward with development of GyroStim.

Meet Mackenzie: the inspiration for GyroStim

Any man, woman, or child, who has ever benefited from GyroStim technology --- and any clinician who has provided services with it --- has done so because of Mackenzie Maher, the inspiration for the development of this amazing technology.

Mackenzie was just four years old when she inspired her father to create the very first manually propelled version of the GyroStim.

Fast forward to the present, Mackzenzie is now a fulltime student at a competitive and prestigious college, preparing for a career in Neurosciences. She is a solid testimony to the amazing potential of neuroplasticity when coupled with the unlimited will of the human spirit.

 

In the video above, Mackenzie shows her stuff on today's automated version of the GyroStim as she attacks one of the performance enhancement profiles rotating at 25 RPM--- a training intensity typically only elite level athletes reach after working their way up.

Many prototypes and over a decade later, Kevin's company, UltraThera Technologies, Inc., holds multiple patents on GyroStim technology --- technology that has come a long way since his first rotating chair design. Today, GyroStim is improving countless lives around the world, all because of one very special little girl.

Kevin continues to direct the business, manufacture, and technological development of GyroStim from the foothills of beautiful Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA.