Tetraplegic doctor, inventor, and athlete inspires others

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — As a doctor, an inventor and an athlete, a Colorado Springs quadriplegic is inspiring countless others.

Dr. Glen House is classified as a C7 complete quadriplegic, meaning he does not have complete use of his four limbs.

House was on skis soon after he could walk, and was racing by the time he was 6 years old, but his life changed in college, when he took on a slope that was even beyond his expertise.

He offered to go down the chute first.

“And that’s about the last thing I remember,” he said.

He spent three months in rehab, and during that time, had a few dark nights.

“But you wake up in the morning and say ‘What do I need to do now?,’” he said.

Without dexterity in his hands, dreams of becoming a dentist disappeared, so House got busy searching for a new dream.

“I’d ask my doctors ‘Do you know anybody who’s gone through medical school in a wheelchair?’ because I had not yet and I was wondering if that’s possible,” he said.

As it turned out, it was possible, for House anyway.

One doctor mentioned he had heard of someone.

“That’s all I needed. At that point I said ‘okay, well, I’m gonna do this,’” he said.

He became the first person at the University of Washington to complete medical school in a wheelchair.

He went even further, completing a spinal cord fellowship in New Jersey, and eventually found his way to Penrose-St. Francis Hospital in Colorado Springs.

Here, he encountered another challenge.

“For individuals of limited dexterity, there wasn’t a product that would allow them to catheterize,” he said.

House created a device to do just that, and applied for his first patent. He’s since added 14 patents to his collection.

House got his Executive MBA at the University of Colorado and opened his business, Elevation Medical Supply.

“It’s like a shoe store, but instead of shoes on the walls, it’s catheters,” he said.

As if all that’s not enough, House is a serious athlete, climbing Pikes Peak in a high-tech wheelchair five times.

“It’s a great life and is just out there for you,” he said.

House’s sister has written a book about his experience, “Pushing to the Peak,” available now on Amazon.

Fox 21 News

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