Warminster, PA (January 22, 2012) It’s hard to imagine a crueler fate for Fred Pirkle, an inventor whose 65-year-old hands have been in creative motion since he was a boy growing up in Texas.
“The first time I stood next to a lathe,” the Bucks County manufacturing executive recalled, “I was shivering all over. I was excited as I could be.”
The first time he got to run a lathe? “I was almost paralyzed with excitement,” Pirkle said.
Today, the excitement is still there, though a fast-moving form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more familiarly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, has shut down virtually all Pirkle’s voluntary muscle movement.