A man from Arkansas gave his grandsons, Cope, 9, and Rigney, 6, hugs with both arms for the first time in 8 years.
Kevin Eubanks suffered a stroke in 2014, resulting in his left arm being paralyzed. Recently he was able to lift his left arm to give the boys hugs with the help of a stretchy wrist band tool.
Emily Sisco, an occupational therapy professor and Eubank’s daughter, helped her students develop this mechanism. It was initially called the “Hugger,” but is now called the “HugAgain.”
Watching all the doctors help her dad, Sisco wanted to get into the department. That’s when she went back to school to get her degree.
Eubanks said, “She saw how much work they were doing with me in the facility that I was in and it just touched her heart to where she wanted to be able to help people. And that’s when she went back to school and got her degree.”
When the time came for Eubanks to give his grandchildren hugs, he could not hold back the tears.
Eubanks told Good Morning America, “It caught me off guard and as you can tell, it was very emotional for me because the family I grew up in, we always love to hug each other with both arms and it’s what we call giving a bear hug, and that is just something that I hadn’t been able to do since my stroke.”
“I got to hug my second one, Rigney, which was born after my stroke. The realization really hit me then that this is the first time I’ve got to hug him like that with two arms. And I just could not control it then. I just cried and cried and cried,” he continued.
Eubanks wants people to know that this simple device and its impact are nothing short of exceptional.
“I want people to know: Don’t ever underestimate the effect of a touch of some kind, no matter if it’s a handshake, a hug, or just putting your arm around somebody. That personal touch sends a message to that person that you love them and that can do so much to a person’s confidence and mindset.”