Life-changing technology has opened up Laura Boyd’s world.
The 26-year-old has been unable to speak since suffering a massive stroke four days after completing her HSC.
Up until now her only means of communication has been through looking at your left hand for yes and right hand for no.
After months of community fundraising the 26-year-old has received the Tellus 5 Eye Gaze, which uses a program called Grid 3.
The machine uses a device similar to an iPad that calibrates Laura's eyes to the screen by way of a camera.
Laura can now use her eyes by looking at the different phases and letters on the device.
The Tellus 5 will also allow Laura to be in charge of her environment, from changing the television station to buzzing for a nurse.
“It’s still only early and we all need to learn more about how it works but it’s wonderful to see Laura communicate with the device as she becomes more familiar with it.Cathy Boyd
Keeping in touch with her friends will also be easier, with Laura able to use Facebook and email through the system.
Mum Cathy Boyd said she’s grateful to everyone who contributed to the $20,000 device, including a last minute donation from a family friend’s business who gave $4000.
“Laura is surprising everyone with more detailed responses and comments everyday”, Cathy said.
“It’s still only early and we all need to learn more about how it works but it’s wonderful to see Laura communicate with the device as she becomes more familiar with it.”
Due to her high needs care, Laura has been living at Clelland Lodge – Living Care since 2008 and the organisation is currently looking at more fundraising options to improve the vibrant young womans quality of life.
“Laura’s wish list would consist of a collapsible lifter to make travelling easier, roof racks, a basket and a beach wheelchair,” Cathy said.
“Laura loves the beach and the beach wheelchair is more like a lounge so she would be able to float in the water and use it in normal swimming pools.
“We’re so appreciative of everything we’ve already received but to get these extra things would be wonderful.”