Wheelchair-bound man with rare genetic disorder is overjoyed as he experiences FLIGHT through the power of virtual reality in heartwarming video
- Tim Bartow, 29, of Kansas City, Missouri, has Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, which causes cerebral palsy, meaning he cannot independently sit or stand
- Digital company Blue Chalk Media provided the goggles and headphones and filmed the moment he experienced the technology for the first time
- Tim is overwhelmed by the results and can be seen moving in his chair and exclaiming 'Woah!' as he soars through virtual reality
A wheelchair-bound man who has never walked a day in his life was able to fly thanks to virtual reality glasses, and the uplifting moment was captured on video.
Tim Bartow, 29, of Kansas City, Missouri, suffers from a rare genetic disorder called Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, which causes cerebral palsy. He is severely physically disabled and relies on round-the-clock help from caregivers to perform simple tasks.
Emotional new footage shows the moment he first experiences a virtual reality headset and gets to leave the confines of his wheelchair.
He leans back in his chair, squirms with glee and exclaims, 'Oh my gosh' and 'Woah!' as he experiences the sensation of soaring through the skies.
Tim was presented with the goggles and headphones by family friend Pam Huling, who runs digital company Blue Chalk Media.
He wore the headset - which showed him different vivid scenes including flying - for 45 minutes straight.
At the end, the emotional footage shows him asking his mom, Liz Bartow, 60, in disbelief: 'Is this mine?' - and she says, 'Yes.'
Mother-of-four Liz, who is a middle and upper school director, said: 'Tim can't sit or stand independently, but he is very determined.
'The technology was really great. It completely caught him off guard. He went real quiet and got wide eyed. 'I was overcome with joy and got instant goosebumps when I watched him experience it for the first time.
'I loved watching his jaw drop and the gleam in his eyes. It was as though for the duration of having the glasses on-he was freed from his physical limitations.'
Tim, whose home was burned down in March and the walls daubed with 'retard' graffiti, said: 'My wheelchair makes me feel pretty helpless and frustrated at times.
'I want to be able to move around independently and I want to have a girlfriend but people don't want to date a guy in a chair.
'I want to travel the world and this chair restricts me terribly. I knew what the virtual reality glasses were but I didn't know how they would feel. I imagined it might be cool, but I didn't now how cool they would be.
'When I put the headset on I was like, "Wow." I feel as though I am in control, which is different for me as usually someone else controls where I go and what I do.
'The experience was awesome. It was like I was there.
'I would love to do it again. I have heard about VR glasses that take you on trips to faraway places. I very much want to try that.
'I also hope to travel myself some day, but this would be good in the meantime.'
Virtual reality glasses contain polarized lenses which show a different image per eye and give the illusion of depth, which makes users feel like they are in another world.
Some, like the ones Tim used, feature tracking systems which cause the scenery to change as the user moves his or her head.
Pam Huling, chief operating officer at Blue Chalk Media, said: 'It is amazing to see somebody with his needs experience such a thing. The results were great. 'It's why we do what we do.'