Web Exclusive: Special golf cart helping quadriplegic golfers tee off again

Web Exclusive

SACRAMENTO (CBS/KOVR) - Golfers who thought they'd never swing a club again are getting back in the game.  A new kind of golf cart is specially designed to help stroke victims and quadriplegics move around the course.

The Haggin Oaks golf course in North Highlands, California is Patrick Scott's second home.  "I played golf 5 days a week after I retired," says Patrick Scott.  "It's one of his joys," says Patrick's wife.

The former tri-athlete was always very active, but everything changed 18 months ago.

"When I flipped off my bicycle, I broke my neck, scapula, 6 ribs," says Patrick.

The accident left him paralyzed from the chest down.  "You get into a really dark place when you become completely paralyzed," says Patrick.

As a quadriplegic, he thought his dreams of playing golf were over.  "I can't support myself from the ground," says Patrick.  But now, with the help of a specialized golf cart, he's on the green for the first time since his accident.  "Ah, it's just amazing,"

The cart helps Patrick to stand up, sit down and move along the course.  "I can adjust where I need to be in regards to the ball," says Patrick.

"It's designed to go across the leg across the chest and the person can actually get in the standing position," says Joe Lukawski.  To set up and take a shot, group instructor Joe Lukawski says the cart is also beneficial for amputees and stroke survivors.  "Anytime a stroke victim crosses a midway line of their body with movement that is actually improving their neuropathway," says Lukawski.

Warren Hackett could not speak or stand up on his own following his third stroke, but with this modified cart he gets on the course once a week. "It gives me a lot of pleasure," says Hackett.

As for Patrick's wife Carol, seeing her husband of 30 years back in the place that makes him happy-- "It just makes me smile because he's back out where he loves to be."  And that's something she never thought was possible, until now.

"It was about survival 18 months ago and now where we can be passionate again," says Carol.  Patrick says, "You can't quit trying."

The cart is available to rent on a course in Sacramento with two days notice. The fee is the same as a regular golf cart.


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