Look at this: can you believe it?

I find it hard to believe – although this is now part of Pádraig’s daily exercise routine. A year ago we were concerned that he might not be able to leave the NRH for Christmas. How things have changed!

But it doesn’t stop there.

Today we went into the mountains. That part of Wicklow where neighbours complained during Ireland’s boom time about the constant noise of private helicopters flying their celebrity owners in and out of their luxury mansions. For us, today was a little bit like that, only several ‘numbers’ smaller. Instead of a helicopter, we had a drone; and instead of a mansion we met in a beautiful wooden house the owner had christened ‘the shed’.

We met a group of the most interesting, smart, and entrepreneurial scientists and business people, all interested in developing the use of drones for people with disabilities – in the first instance for Frank and Pádraig.

The meeting was the kickoff for a formal project to develop ideas into prototypes and then into, hopefully, life-changing apps for wheelchair users. The two generic ideas we were discussing and (literally) playing with were (1) personalised real-time maps for wheelchair users assisting them to find the most wheelchair-friendly way to reach their destination and (2) enabling disabled persons to take part in extreme sports such as rock-climbing or para-gliding using live virtual reality technology.

It was an absolutely fantastic day – probably the longest day Pádraig had spent in his wheelchair in a long time, but really enjoyable for him. There was even a really nice birthday party for the leading scientist thrown in!

This was “an saol”, the dreamboaters going bananas in the mountains. Pure magic.