Everyone that meets Patrick Cryar smiles.

And Pat always smiles back.

As a person living with cerebral palsy, a smile was just about all he could offer… until his nursing home came up with a unique solution.

Pat moved to Marshall Manor Nursing Home in Guntersville in mid-2013. Staff members immediately noticed his vibrant personality and gentle spirit. Pat enjoyed interacting with the staff and other residents, but was limited in his ability to communicate.

Speech Therapist Lydia Craft knew there had to be a way to help Pat express himself and communicate with others.

“Pat is incredibly smart and I could tell there was so much he wanted to tell us.” Craft said. “Our nursing home made it our special project to help him communicate and interact with others.”

Craft conducted her own research and enlisted help from a United Cerebral Palsy Foundation technology specialist. After some tests, they decided a specially outfitted iPad would provide Pat with the greatest ability to communicate in a conversational manner. The device allows for limitless vocabulary options.

Word quickly spread around Guntersville of Pat’s need for an iPad. Several churches and the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation made donations to cover the cost of the iPad and accessories.

“This device helps Pat enjoy social interactions and most important, it lets him tell our nurses about his safety and medical needs,” Marshall Manor Nursing Home Administrator Pam Vogt said.

Pat is well on his journey to learning how to use his iPad with Craft providing assistance along the way. Marshall Manor staff members look forward to hearing his thoughts.

“It will be a wonderful addition to Pat’s smile to also hear his thoughts through conversation,” Craft added. “Just as he’s never at a loss for a smile, I’m sure he’ll never be at a loss for words – and this will certainly be his and our gain!”

About Marshall Manor Nursing Home:
Marshall Manor Nursing Home is a 91-bed skilled nursing facility located in Guntersville. It is part of the Terrace Lake Village Retirement Community. Pam Vogt is the Administrator and Pat Gilliland is the Director of Nursing.