Brad Soden, a former United States soldier, has led an impactful life. After serving in the first Iraq war, he transitioned into a role as a firefighter, where he saved numerous lives. Brad, along with his wife Liz and their three children, resides in Phoenix, Arizona.
For many years, Brad seemed to have it all. However, his life took a drastic turn on August 15, 1999. This was the day when a life-altering accident occurred, changing everything for him and his family.
During a family trip in their truck, a sudden blowout of the left front tire caused Liz, who was driving, to lose control and veer off the road. Miraculously, their three boys escaped with only minor injuries. Brad, however, suffered a broken leg. Tragically, Liz bore the brunt of the accident. She broke her back and became paralyzed from the waist down.
Following emergency surgery, Liz woke to her grim diagnosis. Overwhelmed by her sudden disability, she feared her life as she knew it was over. Doubts clouded her mind, and she worried that Brad, her boyfriend at the time, would leave her for a woman without her physical limitations.
In response to Liz’s fears, Brad made a heartwarming gesture. He got down on one knee and proposed to her right in the hospital. Without hesitation, Liz accepted, and the couple was soon wedded.
The journey to Liz’s recovery was extensive and her entire family provided her with unwavering support. Despite being a resilient woman, adjusting to her new life in a wheelchair presented considerable challenges. One of the most painful realizations was that her wheelchair couldn’t navigate the rough, uneven terrains that were part and parcel of the family’s beloved hobby – hiking. After the accident, Liz tried to join her family on their hiking adventures, but she soon realized the limitations of her wheelchair.
During one family outing, as they were following a moose trail, Liz was left behind on the flat road due to her wheelchair’s limitations. Tearfully, she urged her family to continue without her. This heartbreaking sight deeply affected Brad, and he resolved to prevent such a situation from recurring.
Drawing on his experience as a maintenance technician in the army, where he was responsible for maintaining and cleaning tanks, Brad was inspired to construct a special wheelchair for Liz. His vision was an off-road-capable wheelchair that would allow Liz to accompany the family wherever they ventured. However, bringing this vision to life proved more challenging than he anticipated.
Brad spent countless hours in the garage, tirelessly working on his project. Some days, he wouldn’t venture outside at all, occasionally losing patience. The persistent sounds of his work became a familiar backdrop for both the neighbors and Liz.
Brad’s task was challenging: to design a quiet electric engine that would operate effectively in the wilderness and at campsites. After an immense amount of time and effort, he finally found the solution. Calling Liz into the garage, he presented her with an extraordinary wheelchair fitted with tank treads!
Brad’s innovative creation didn’t go unnoticed. His all-terrain wheelchair caught the attention of many, including the heads of the high-tech company NPC Robotics, who were particularly impressed.
The company backed Brad’s invention and constructed a prototype based on his design. With the aid of modern technology, Liz’s new wheelchair is quiet, fast, and adept at off-road driving. Nowadays, when the family goes hiking, it’s Brad and the kids who struggle to keep pace with Liz.
This invention truly showcases Brad’s deep love for Liz, along with his innovative mind and determination to overcome any obstacle. It serves as an inspiring example of how to support loved ones when they’re facing tough times. In essence, when a family member stumbles, help them rise again.
This story is worth sharing as it highlights the remarkable qualities of Brad, a man who embodies the essence of a devoted husband and father.