Commandant's Reading List
Published June, 2007
In this autobiography, Bruce McGhie writes of his life, love and accomplishments as a man dealing with quadriplegia in a pre-handicap accessible world. After a tragic Air Force training accident at the age of twenty-two left him critically injured and completely dependent on others, McGhie struggled through painful and frustrating rehab with little prospect of ever leading a "normal" life.
During the agonizing recuperation and relearning process inherent to spinal cord injuries, he faced a variety of challenges, from basics such as getting dressed, driving with hand controls, and gaining full physical independence to necessary real-world skills like getting up curbs with no cuts and using inaccessible bathrooms and public telephones. McGhie not only overcame these obstacles and achieved the "impossible"-a virtually normal life-but also dared to strive for the extraordinary, succeeding in such endeavors as building up a successful business consultancy and becoming the first spinal-cord injured person in the world to be licensed as a glider pilot, using hand controls he helped develop.
A compelling story, ASCENT: How one quadriplegic fought for a full life and soared strives to illuminate the amazing accomplishments of one man and his highly supportive wife while also providing an example of the inherent power people have to transcend handicaps-physical or otherwise-and live full and meaningful lives.