LIFESTYLE
19/02/2015 06:23 GMT | Updated 19/02/2015 06:59 GMT

Man With ALS Tells His Wife He Loves Her For The First Time Since 1999

A project which focuses on doing the impossible has released a video of the incredible moment a man who lost his voice to ALS spoke for the first time.

Don Moir, a Canadian farmer, was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in 1995, and lost his ability to speak in 1999 as his condition deteriorated.

For 16 years Don has been speaking through his wife and a rudimentary system of going through the alphabet. His wife goes through letter by letter until she can understand what he wants to say.

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After hearing the father-of-three's story, the folks at Not Impossible Labs got in touch and offered to help.

They worked tirelessly for a year, building the technology that would allow Don to speak again in a way that was tailored perfectly to him.

"A year ago, I made Don a promise that I will find an answer that works for him specifically," engineer Javed Gangjee said.

"When I look at Don, that could be me, that could be my uncle, that could be my dad. What right do I have to do nothing about it?"

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Don's first words with the new system were "I love u Lorraine". He then went on to type around 2.5 words per minute.

Not Impossible are now working on a way to help Don send emails and are attempting to recreate his own voice from old film footage.

"What happens is, people send us stories or we find stories where access has been limited to someone," Not Impossible Labs co-creator Elliot Kotek explained.

"It could be physical limitations, like an inability to communicate, it could be geographic, or it could just be financial where the solution is not available because it's just so expensive they can't afford it.

"As for Don and Lorraine, while his independence has been given a boost, the technology is only another chapter in their love story."

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Also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS is a form of motor neuron disorder which causes the death of neurons controlling voluntary muscles. The average survival rate from diagnosis is three or four years, with only 10% surviving for over a decade.

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