Nic Paterson is a young man with a cervical spinal cord injury who is an innovative creator that uses 3-D print to provide solutions to those in the disability community. He just launched his website/online store QwadSqwad where he has multiple adaptive products available to purchase! Nic also has a service dog that helps him live a more independent lifestyle. Get to know more about Nic his incredible story!
How did you get injured? I broke my neck snowboarding 11 years ago. I hit a jump, somebody didn’t wait for me to clear the landing, and basically landed on my head.
Where do you live? Toronto, Ontario.
What are some things that helped you adjust after your injury? Goals, no matter how small, and hope. My doctor told me I’d never move anything from the neck down and I was like Doctors don’t know everything! My goal is to walk again and that’s what I’m gonna do.
How long did it take to get a service dog and how long have you had him? I’ve had him for about 4.5 years. The waiting list is long so be prepared to wait about a year at minimum. But I always tell everyone it’s worth applying now. Even if you’re not sure because once you get to the end of the waiting list, you can always say no if things have changed.
In what ways has your service dog improved your life? What are some challenges? The biggest one is, he’s my best friend, and he’s always there for me whether good day or bad day. He gives me the ability to live independently. The skill I use every day is him picking up my stuff when I drop it. The only challenges I would say, is you have to keep pretty consistent with this training especially in the beginning. You just have to maintain how he’s been trained by getting him to do his skills, and making sure he’s not trying to grab crumbs off the ground .. lol because at the end of the day he still a dog lol!
What do you do for fun? Hobbies? I like to go to concerts, and music festivals. I go to Veld every year in Toronto. Other than that, hanging with my friends and also hanging out with my mom… Oh, and I can’t forget about my hobby of 3-D printing that is one of the coolest things!
What inspired you and how did you start QwadSwuad? What inspired me was the goal of wanting to make a difference and help teach people what’s out there, through how to videos, and information that people don’t provide you. We always have to figure stuff out on our own, I always say I believe that everything happens for a reason and I was meant to go through what I went through to get to where I’m at. I’ve got a story to help a lot of people with. So I started up a YouTube channel and started making how to videos in regards to accessible technology.
How do you customize products for your customers and why is that Important to you? So I came up with these designs or modified other ones out there to work for my needs, and most of all the designs I made for myself, but always knew that it would be able to help a lot of others as well, so I’m always open to modifying products to match peoples individual needs at least for right now where the orders arent coming in like crazy, of which, when that time comes, I will still offer that service. It just may take more time to get it done and to the customer. And all this is important to me because like I said before, I’m just trying to make a difference and help people.
What are some of your most innovative MacGyver hacks? Biggest MacGyver’s, one was making a Hospital table out of a power adjustable table frame, and putting it on wheels with a table top.
Follow Nic Paterson @qwadsqwad