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Season 1 Episode 5

Hilary's Straws

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Aired Unknown Jun 05, 2012 on
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Hilary Lister is a record breaking quadriplegic sailor from Kent, England. She suffers from the progressive condition reflex sympathetic dystrophy and controls her single-handed ship by using sip-and-puff technology for steering and sails. Sip-and-Puff technology is a unique innovative method used to send signals to a device using air pressure by inhaling or exhaling on a straw, tube or "wand." As a recent invention it is now primarily used by people who do not have the use of their hands. Hilary has taken this innovation to new heights. She is the first quadriplegic to sail solo across the English Channel (in 6 hours and 13 minutes). On 24 July 2007, she became the first female quadriplegic to sail solo around the Isle of Wight. She won the Sunday Times Helen Rollason Award for Inspiration in 2005. Hilary was able-bodied until the age of 15. She was introduced to sailing in 2003, which she says gave her life "new meaning and purpose".moreless
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