What an interesting story it was to read when i heard about wheelchair man superhero ! a comic book character created by an injured Afghan child who was left paralyzed after his house was hit by a bomb and is now reliant on his wheelchair.
This story, albeit true is both interesting and compelling and shows the real strength of character of the boy known as Mohammad Sayed. Mohamed, no a US citizen designed a comic book superhero - Wheelchair Man - based on his own life story.
His mother died when he was just 5 or 6 years of age, a short time later he was seriously injured leaving him disabled and in need of treatment and a wheelchair. He was abandoned by his father who left him in the care of the hospital which was run by a team of 500 Italian medics. His spinal cord damage means that he will never walk and that a wheelchair was going to be a way of life for him.
While in hospital he was asked to pay for his own food and clothes, so he started a small business repairing cell phones which eventually lead to him inventing a series of wheelchair accessories.
After 7 years in the hospital Mohamed’s life took a change and he was adopted by a US citizen and taken to the states in his wheelchair still aged only 12. In his early days in the US he received medical treatment to straighten his spine.
A few years on he began to learn a bit about engineering which was the start of his career in making wheelchair accessories. It started by him scouring the Internet for things to fit to his wheelchair but noticed quickly that many wheelchair accessories were over engineered and therefore overpriced.
So Mohamed started designing his own inventions that included a cup-holder, a tripod for his camera and a canopy to keep the sun and rain off, all of which attached to his wheelchair. What was different here was that his wheelchair accessories were designed by a wheelchair user for wheelchair users. As he points out many of these products are designed to be fitted to the back of the wheelchair and therefore only in reach of the attendant and not the wheelchair user.
Then something big happened, somehow the White House heard about his antics and he was invited to the 2015 White House Science Fair and presented to President Obama. This publicity catapulted him in to the spotlight where he has been able to continue his development of wheelchair gadgets on a commercial basis and the development of his beloved Wheelchair Man fictional character.
Inspired by different comic characters - Spider Man and Iron Man he noticed the absence of any superheroes that represent the wheelchair community. "This is the greatest country, how is it possible that they have no wheelchair superhero?" he said.
He wanted to celebrate the skills, powers and capabilities that wheelchair users have, so Mohamed started to create a superhero called Wheelchair Man based on his own real-life story.
His character Wheelchair Man is a teenager, he's an immigrant and he's a Muslim. Hi s plan is to develop a comic book series to inspire people with disabilities. Wheelchair man is against hatred and he wants to end violence and make this world a better place. But he already has plans for more ! including Wheelchair Woman, Wheelchair Girl, Wheelchair Boy and Captain Afghanistan ! all of whom will be based on the real lives of wheelchair users from developing countries.
We wish him luck and look forward to catching site of his wheelchair hero publications.