Brad Soden’s Journey: A Soldier, Fireman, and Devoted Husband’s Life Altered by Tragedy
Brad Soden, a former United States soldier who served in the first Iraq war, transitioned into saving lives as a firefighter after completing his military service. Residing in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife Liz and their three children, Brad’s life took a dramatic turn on August 15, 1999.
While driving with their kids in their truck, Liz at the wheel, tragedy struck when the left front tire blew out. The vehicle veered off the road, leaving their three boys with minor injuries. Brad suffered a broken leg, but for Liz, the consequences were devastating—she broke her back and became paralyzed from the waist down.
Rushed to the hospital for surgery, Liz faced the harsh reality of her diagnosis. Feeling that her life was over, she feared that Brad, her boyfriend at the time, might leave her for someone “normal.” However, Brad’s response defied expectations. Instead of abandoning Liz, he knelt down and proposed right there in the hospital. Liz, touched by his unwavering commitment, said “yes,” and the couple was soon married.
Liz’s path to recovery was arduous, with her entire family providing steadfast support. Despite her strength, adapting to life in a wheelchair proved incredibly challenging, particularly given the family’s love for hiking.
The accident had abruptly halted Liz’s ability to join in, as her wheelchair couldn’t navigate the uneven terrain she once cherished. Yet, Brad’s enduring commitment and the family’s collective resilience became the pillars that supported Liz through this life-altering transition.
In a poignant moment during a family outing along a moose trail, Liz found herself left behind on the flat road, tears welling in her eyes as she urged her family to continue without her. Witnessing this heartbreaking scene, Brad made a resolute decision—he would ensure it never happened again.
Having served as a maintenance technician responsible for tanks during his time in the army, Brad drew inspiration from his military expertise to embark on a remarkable project. He set out to create a special off-road wheelchair for Liz, envisioning a device that would seamlessly integrate into the family’s outdoor activities.
Days turned into nights as Brad tirelessly toiled away in the garage. Some days, he hardly ventured outside, grappling with moments of impatience. The constant hum emanating from the garage became a familiar sound to both the neighbors and Liz, who patiently awaited the fruits of Brad’s labor.
Brad faced the unique challenge of designing a silent electric engine capable of navigating the wilderness and campsites. After numerous hours of dedication and perseverance, he cracked the code. Summoning Liz to the garage, Brad unveiled a unique wheelchair adorned with tank treads—an invention borne out of love and innovation.
Brad’s creation did not go unnoticed. The heads of the high-tech company NPC Robotics were impressed by the all-terrain wheelchair and offered their support. Collaborating with NPC Robotics, Brad’s initial model evolved into a modern marvel—Liz’s new wheelchair, equipped with cutting-edge technology, proved to be quiet, swift, and tailor-made for off-road adventures.
Nowadays, when the family embarks on hikes, Brad and the kids find it challenging to keep pace with Liz and her high-tech wheelchair. Brad’s invention not only exemplifies his profound love for Liz but also showcases his ingenuity and unwavering determination to overcome any obstacle.
This heartwarming story serves as an inspiring example of familial support and resilience. Brad’s dedication to crafting a solution for Liz’s mobility challenges stands as a testament to the power of love and determination in overcoming adversity. Share this uplifting tale of a husband and father who went above and beyond to enhance the life of his loved one.