Virginia Tech® home

Virginia Tech students engineer device to help alumna thrive

Loading player for
Category: impact Video duration: Virginia Tech students engineer device to help alumna thrive

A Virginia Tech couple returns to campus, twenty years after receiving their graduate degrees, to share the power of the Ut Prosim (That I May Serve.)

[00:00:00] >> Denise Gorondy-Toderico has always been strong willed. "If I set my mind on something, you know I'm going to get it done." It's how the Virginia Tech alumna, wife, and mother of two is facing the challenge of recovery after a hit and run. "You can never forget that determination and that will or that mindset." Three years ago, Denise spent 40 days in the hospital after being hit from behind by an SUV going 60 miles per hour during her morning run. [00:00:29] She laid in the field for more than hour before being found and flown to a trauma center. Denise is still recovering from her injuries, including several strokes, a traumatic brain injury, and broken vertebrae. Living an active lifestyle has always been important to Denise and her husband, fellow alum Benjamin Toderico and their two boys. [00:00:52] "We love the outdoors. You know with six years here for me and eight years here for Denise, you know, the outdoors and recreation outside was part of our college career." The pair is back on campus as Denise tries out an assisted rowing oar at War Memorial pool. Virginia Tech's Quality of Life Plus club designed a device to help Denise, whose right arm is still immobile, paddle a canoe with her left arm and feet. [00:01:17] "It may not look the same as how it did before but she is able to do what she wants to do." QL+ is a group of multi-disciplinary students who challenge themselves each semester to improve the quality of life of community members through innovative medical devices or assistive technology. [00:01:34] "I think the more I use it, the more proficient I will be at it. But yeah, it definitely was a good fix to not having my right hand to row." The group is rooted in Virginia Tech's motto, Ut Prosim, that I may serve. "You may not feel it directly but they're making something for somebody that's going to impact their life and I think that Ut Prosim is impactful in its meaning as well as in the actions of living that type of life." "They are serving the community through engineering solutions." Solutions to help Denise continue to make strides and thrive. [00:02:12] "I'm not there yet but I'm going to get there."