Michael Glass hunts deer from his wheelchair
by C.F. David
Michael Glass, of North Central Cimarron County recently made the pages of a national magazine.
Glass is the son of Mike and Francis Glass, who live on the Strong Ranch, near the Cimarron River .
A picture, in the August issue of Outdoor Life , shows Glass, 32, his brother-in-law Randy Wyrick, of Stillwater , and the nine-point buck that Michael took with a shot of 273 yards.
With the superior weapons of today, a shot of 273 yards isn't that unusual, in fact, Glass drops prairie dogs from distances of 300 yards, (that's the length of a football field), or more.
The remarkable fact is, Glass, paralyzed from the neck down since he was 15, made the shot from his wheelchair.
“I've hunted all my life; we got this set-up after I was hurt.”
The gun setup was designed by another quadriplegic named Bob Bowen. Bowen, more restricted than Glass has to make aiming adjustments with his chin. Glass can use his left hand and pulls the trigger on the weapon by taking a breath.
The weapon, (they'll soon mount a .308 caliber for Elk season), is moved left or right, up or down, with the aid of motors from electric windows for automobiles. The trigger is pulled with the help of an electric trunk solenoid.
In 1988, while on vacation in Canada , at his uncle's fishing lodge, he dove from a pier, and struck a rock in shallow water; life as he had known it suddenly changed.
“Six months after my accident they began using a steroid that helps stop nerve damage,” Glass said with a wry grin.
Glass probably owes his life to two nurses who were vacationing nearby. They insisted he be kept immobilized and conscious as someone traveled 18 miles by boat to phone for help.
It took Glass' parents a full day to get to their injured son. “It was a rough 24 hours,” said Mike Glass.
Glass remained in a Canadian hospital ICU unit for a week, before being flown to Amarillo in a private jet, where he was in rehabilitation for six months.
“I was one of Amarillo 's first quadriplegics. They really had no idea what to do with me,” he explained.
From Amarillo , he was taken to the Craig Hospital in Denver for more rehab. It was at Craig that Glass faced his paralysis head on and made decisions.
“It was either sit there and whine, or get over it and get on,” Glass said bluntly.
The rehab at Craig was tough; Glass explained that you didn't have to go to rehab, but that if you chose not to, you were out the door; they had a waiting list and no time to waste on those not wanting to work.
“They would tell you quick, if you don't want to get better, we don't want you here,” Glass said.
“They taught me to do the best you can, and to fix what you got.”
He was in Denver for a month, and then came home. He had missed his sophomore year at Boise City High. But, with the help of a tutor, he graduated high school in 1991.
I lived in Amarillo for about ten years. I attended college at West Texas State , and stopped just short of having a degree in Criminal Justice,” Glass said.
“That, (the separation), was tough,” Mike said.
College was possible with the help of brothers from the Sigma Nu Fraternity Glass had joined.
“The Sigma Nu brothers took a dare,” Mike said.
“We paid for their, (the Frat brothers), books, room, board and some spending money,” Mike added.”
One of the Sigma Nu brothers, Owen, is now a deputy sheriff at Canadian, Texas .
As with anyone who lives with paralysis, Glass' enemies are locked doors, and pressure sores. To combat the problems, Glass sleeps on a bed designed to inhibit the sores, it has water tubes.
Technology is there for Glass' computer to turn his lights off and on and to open doors. So far he doesn't need it.
“If he needs to get out of the house, he can just bump the door with his chair, and it will open,” Mike explained.
Glass uses his computer for communication, and keeps up numerous conversations on the Internet.
His other hobbies include collecting knives.
Boise City News