He is 24 and confined to a constant existence in a wheelchair. But thanks to Twitter, David Rose not only has thousands of friends, but he’s finding more all the time, all of them drawn to his witty comments and positive attitude as he blogs and tweets about his life.
David is a profoundly deaf quadriplegic, his disabilities caused by cerebral palsy, and he sends each message out at a pace of four words a minute, using a specialised computer which translates his eye movements.
Since his family helped set up ‘David’s Twitter Machine’, to go along with his own blog, his world has got much bigger thanks to virtual friends which stand in admiration for his ethics, philosophies and good humour.
David, or Dave, as he likes to be called, lives in a residential home for disabled people in Orange County, California, near his mother and his sister.
He communicates with a Tobii eye-gaze computer that tracks his eye-movement and posts on Facebook and Twitter, and on his blog he says he likes puppies, girls, funny movies, good stories and jokes, and ‘yummy food’.
Writing on his blog, David – still writing at a four-word-per-minute pace, left a long answer to questions about his life.
He said: They did not expect me to live past 15 year old because of my severe cerebral palsy.
There are complications, like nasty thing called acid reflux and if i get pneumonia i am gone overnight.
‘But i made it past 15, so doctors said i not live past 20. I made it there too.
‘I had two comas so far. Both of them came sudden i was just sitting in wheelchair doing something like am now.
‘First time i was watch a tv show.
‘2nd time was talking my friend kate on facebook chat. both time aide come in and find me asleep and did not wake up for long time.
‘After 2nd coma i had problems I cannot get rid of now. Cannot close my mouth. We work on it in therapy but my mouth stay open all the time it very frustrating.
‘I used to be more athetoid. that mean uncontrol moving. was very used to that it been that way since born. after 2nd coma am more spastic.
‘That mean less moving and arms and legs more frozen still. I cannot raise my head off wheelchair headrest and my head turn to the right.
‘Cannot look straight ahead now or to left. always to right and it stay that way. also very frustrating!
‘Why am telling you all this? Not for pity that last thing i want!
‘They do not like stares in public. Who does? They not like able body people think they worthless. Who want that?
‘The reason tell you this is i maybe not have much time left. Could have coma again before finish write this post and never wake up.
‘A few nights ago i lay on my back in bed late at night and choke on something.
‘The aide on duty hear me and run in turn me over and clear it. If he not do that i might be gone because cannot turn over myself.
‘Because of this and because i might not be here tomorrow then why hate? Why argue and fight? Why be mean and nasty? If someone that way to me I just feel sorry for them.
‘They the person who have the worst disability! they not able to love despite bad things and see the good in everything.
I try best to get along good with everyone. I want make people laugh. I want tell people life worth living even when is hard.
‘This is why i am how i am. I could leave very soon and not ever come back so I want to leave you, Travis, and everyone else with a smile on you face and nice memory of me.
‘And i want you make something of yourself! Do the same and make the whole world better! Too much nasty right now, so lets make some funny and make people laugh before is too late!
‘If you all do that because of what i say then i can live on for many years lol. yes in a way it selfish, but i think is better this kind of selfish than someone wanting new car and best house.
‘People say i am inspirational. I think i am not, i am just me. i just hope it the best me i can be because i might have to leave soon and there is no second chance. this is it.
‘So stop crying stop complaining stop arguing and start laughing. now! does not matter what other people do. it only matter what you do.’