The Drummer Inside Won’t Quit
Roman Castillo, a T8 paraplegic from Albuquerque, N.M., is the definition of strength. He was injured in 2005 at the age of 37 in a home burglary shooting. “Getting shot four times is a trauma I don’t wish on my worst enemy,” he says. “And I was angry at myself for what? I don’t know, maybe for living in that apartment,” he says. Castillo’s home was invaded by two unknown men who attempted to kill him. “When he fired a shot, the gun misfired, which gave me a chance to fight.”

Roman-CastilloOne shot entered his neck just to the left of his left shoulder. “It pierced my lung, and a .38 bullet is lodged in my spine. Then I heard, ‘Son, you have to finish him,’ and he shot me point blank in the back of my head.’” By some miracle, Castillo survived.

What proved difficult was his psychological recovery. Castillo was scared the intruders might come to the hospital to finish their job, and he was beginning to experience post-traumatic stress syndrome. He had to fight back hard on that. How did he do it? By thinking about his two young children and how they needed him.

He also worked hard to recover his drumming skills, being a professional musician pre-injury. His doctor even let him bring his drum set into the hospital. “Having my drums at the rehabilitation hospital allowed the technicians to see which muscles needed to be worked on most.” And to play the bass line, he tunes his floor toms to sound bass-like.

Two years post-injury, Castillo went on to participate in a drum-playing competition, “shocking the world,” he says, finally getting his groove back, and showing that paras can indeed play the drums just as well as anyone.

Watch Castillo play drums at www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltdGSbyrFzQ

Seated Fashion Gets Museum Treatment
For those in the Toronto area or for anyone planning on visiting this very accessible city anytime between now and next January, you’ll want to check out the groundbreaking textile exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum — Fashion Follows Form: Designs for Sitting.

izzy-camilleri_0This exhibit features three of the most innovative adaptive garments created by Izzy Camilleri — her vertically split leather coat, her trench coat cut high in the back, and her wedding gown — all of which are designed for the seated form. In the exhibit, Izzy’s garments are placed alongside garments from the 18th and 19th centuries also made for sitting, including a pair of 18th century breeches, a dolman made to handle a large bustle and a stunning 19th century riding side-saddle habit.

Look for Camilleri’s iconic pieces, too, such as the silver coat she made for Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada.

Learn more here: www.rom.on.ca/en/exhibitionsgalleries/exhibitions/fashion-follows-form

Universal Hand-Free Phoning
For those with limited arm movement who can’t use touchscreens, Tecla is a burgeoning technology that allows you to use your wheelchair’s auxiliary controls on your cell phone. So now you can use your phone as easily as your wheelchair. It’s Android, iPhone and iPad compatible.

Go to gettecla.com