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the "Ary Lift,"
they can he
bed is a friend,
Shallotte Man Makes Home
BY DOUG RUTTKR
cnc Smith of Shaliolie has tinkered, designed
? -?-and lixed things for most of his life. Not until
recently, though, could the machine and weld
ing shop owner he. considered :in official inventor
Smith was issued two patents in December, includ
ing one for a dcvicc that lends a helping hand to people
who care for bedridden loved ones.
The "Ary Lift," which is used with a conventional
bed, allows carc-givcrs to bathe, change or turn a pa
tient without straining
A small electric motor provides all the power that's
needed. The patient lies on washable nylon straps cov
ered with sheepskin for comfort and can be raised or
lowered with the push of a button.
By adjusting the straps, the person can be turned
from side to side every couple of hours to keep bed
sores from developing.
"With this," said Smith, "you can do the work in
half the lime with half the effort."
The lift doesn't take up much more room than an
ordinary bed. "It utilizes the room above a person," he
The "Ary Lift" is named after the woman for whom
it was invented, Ary Ferrcll of Loris, S.C.
A stroke in October 1990 left Ary paralyzed, blind
and speechless. "She's totally helpless," said her hus
band, Abe Ferrcll.
Ferrcll approached his friend Smith about a year
ago and asked him if he could invent something that
would help him care for his bedridden wife.
The 79-year-old Ferrcll needed a device that would
allow him to lift and turn his wife from side to side
without hurling his back.
In this case, necessity was indeed the mother of in
vention. And Smith delivered.
"If you camc over here and offered me S70,(XK) for
it I wouldn't lake it," Fcrrell said of the lift. "I'd chase
you out of the house."
With the "Ary Lift," Ferrell said he tan easily bathe
nr shower his wife. A large pan slides in under the
patient during bathing, and a water bag and shower at
tachment hang from one end of the bed.
"I couldn't lake carc of my wife if I didn't have it,"
Ferrell said. "1 would have to have somebody here with
me. It's just wonderful."
Smith, who has only made a handful of the lifts so
far, said the besi thing about ii is thai il can help fami
lies of the estimated one million Americans who arc
"Thai's the mosl cxciting thing to me," he said. "It
would be helping loved ones stay together rather than
sending their loved ones to a nursing home."
Smith's inventing bug didn't stop with the patient
lift. He also received a patent last month for a trolling
plate that can be attached to boats with inboard motors.
The "Sea Troll" uses metal flaps that can be opened
and closcd with water pressure provided by motion of
the boat. The purpose is to reduce the trolling speed of
Boats that normally idle at 5 mph can be slowed
down to 2 mph with the use of the plate. Smith said the
5 mph irolling speed is too fast for live bait fishing.
Another patent is in the works for a metal sleeve
that increases the size of boat rudders.
"I've built things for people and designed things for
people for many years. I never really thought about get
ting a patent," said Smith.
"I used to think everything had been invented. I'm
finding out that's not the case. People can do a lot of
things if they set their mind to il."
Beacon TV Schedules Now Include FOX and FAMILY Channels
STAFF PHOTO BY DOUG RUTTIR
Care Easier With Invention
THE SEA TROLL features metal flaps that slow the idle speed of boats with inboard motors to allow
for better live bait fishing.
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