Grandpa Hugs His Grandkids For The 1st Time In 8 Years With The Help Of A Simple Gadget

An Arkansas man is now able to hug his grandsons again for the first time in 8 years after students in his daughter’s OTA class created a new hugging tool.

Eight years ago, Kevin Eubanks of Jonesboro, Arkansas suffered a stroke that left him with lasting weakness on his left side. He has fought his way back to a new normal in many ways, but he still can’t do simple tasks like giving his grandchildren a big hug anymore.

Kevin’s daughter, Emily Eubanks Sisco adjunct professor at Arkansas State University, created a challenge for her Occupational Therapy Assistant students to create a piece of adaptive equipment for her dad and they came through with flying colors!

“We just all came together and said that is so sad that he wants to hug and he can’t,” student Erica Dexter said. “We’ve just got to do something about that.”

Emily’s students created an adaptive device called “The Hugger”, which a simple fabric strap with Velcro closures. The device enables the wearer to use the strength of their dominant arm to lift their weaker arm. Kevin was involved in its development, so it was only right that he give the invention its first real-life trial run. Emily captured video of the moment her dad tried on The Hugger, and her son stepped in as the “huggee.” As soon as Kevin put on the device and lifted his arm high enough to hold his grandson he started to weep.

“I appreciate everything y’all have done,” Kevin said emotionally. “This is a dream of mine.”

The Hugger is now called HugAgain, and they’re hoping to make them available for purchase very soon. According to Emily, she’s glad to be able to demonstrate the power of OT to take “what may seem impossible and making it possible again.”

Watch the sweet moment when Kevin hugs his grandson for the first time in 8 long years in the video above

@emilysisco1 Watch my dad hug his grandsons for the first time since his stroke in 2014. Special thanks to my OTA students for creating this! #arkansas #grandpa #fyp #therapy #stroke #rehabilitation #arkansasstateuniversity #astate ♬ original sound – Emily Sisco


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