Thursday, April 30, 2009

Team Hoyt

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Team Hoyt is a father (Dick Hoyt, b. ca. 1940) and son (Rick Hoyt, b. 1962) in Massachusetts who compete together in marathons, triathlons, and other athletic endeavors. Rick has cerebral palsy, caused by loss of oxygen to his brain at birth because his umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. Dick pulls him in a special boat as they swim, carries him in a special seat up front as they bike, and pushes him in a special wheelchair as they run.
Doctors told his parents that Rick would live in a vegatative state, but his parents, with the help of Tufts University engineers, recognized that his sense of humor indicated intelligence. At the age of 12, Rick was able to learn how to use a special computer to communicate using movements from his head. The first words he typed were, "Go Bruins!", and the family learned he was a sports fan. They entered their first race in 1977, a 5 mile benefit run for an injured lacrosse player who was a schoolmate of Rick's.
Dick is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Air National Guard. Rick earned a college degree from Boston University in special education, and now works at Boston College. They continue to compete in races, and are also motivational speakers.
As of August 31, 2008, Team Hoyt had participated in a total of 984 events, including 229 Triathlons (6 of which were Ironman competitions), 20 Duathlons, and 66 Marathons, including 26 Boston Marathons.[1] They have also biked and run across the USA, in 1992 a 3,735 mile journey that took them 45 days.
When asked what one thing Rick wished he could give his father, his reply was "The thing I'd most like is that my dad would sit in the chair and I would push him once."
1 Birth
2 Breakthrough
3 Team Hoyt begins
4 Training
5 College
6 Competitions
7 Setbacks
8 Inspiration to the world
9 Bonded for life
10 References
11 Audio Interviews
12 References
13 External links
It all started when Rick Hoyt was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a condition that occurs when oxygen to the brain is blocked during the birth process. t means the brain can send the correct messages to his muscles [2]. Since Rick was coming out face up instead of a normal face down delivery, the doctors tried to manipulate the baby, a measure that put the lives of both the mother and baby in danger. Consequently, the umbilical cord became twisted around the baby neck which caused the blockage of oxygen flow [7].
Many doctors encouraged the Hoyts to institutionalize the baby at the young age of nine months, informing them that he would be nothing more than a egetable [2]. Rick mother, Judy Hoyt, once proclaimed, here is no way we will ever put our son away. We love him. He is ours. We will work with him and bring him to the place where he can reach his greatest potential. We will never, never put him away simply because he is different [7]. Rick parents held on to the fact that Rick eyes would follow them around the room, giving them hope that he would somehow be able to communicate some day [2]. The Hoyts took Rick every week to Children Hospital in Boston where they met Doctor Fitzgerald. He encouraged the Hoyts to experience isks with little Rick by taking him sledding, rolling him down a grassy hill or taking him swimming. In other words, they were to reat him like any other child. Judy spent hours each day teaching Rick the alphabet with sandpaper letters and posting signs on every object in the house. In a short amount of time, Rick learned the alphabet [7].
They pushed to have him educated in public schools but the authorities would not allow it because they felt he had no way to communicate [4]. Eventually they proved them wrong. When he turned 11, Rick mom and dad took him to Tuft University to the engineering department to see if there was something they could ig up that would help Rick communicate. Initially, the answer was an abrupt, o way. The persistent parents asked the engineers to tell him a joke. When they did, the young boy laughed. It was obvious that Rick understood and had a world inside him that was aching to come out and explore [2]. Eventually, the engineers developed a cursor for a computer that was attached to Rick head, one of the only parts of his body he can voluntarily move despite the cerebral palsy, and allowed Rick to activate a touch pad to communicate. he engineers named it the Tufts Interactive Communicator. or, for short, TIC. But, for clear and obvious reasons, the Hoyt family referred to it as The Hope Machine [7]. Initially, in order to build the computer, the engineers needed $5,000. The Hoyts set out to raise the money, no little feat in 1972, but they met their goal [4]. A door was opened and soon Rick was peaking [2]. He also got into school [4].
Team Hoyt begins
While at Westfield Middle School, Rick...(and so on)

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