Lindsay Burrow Obituary, Death – Eyegaze is a piece of technology that Burrow use in order to communicate effectively despite the fact that his mind is as keen as it has ever been. His eyes are able to pick out individual letters that are displayed on the computer, and then he uses those letters to piece together an answer, one word at a time. When Rob is ready, he flashes us a friendly smile and rotates his body so that he is facing us. It is his way of letting Lindsey and me know that he is able to answer even if we have been yakking on for a considerable amount of time, and it is also his way of showing that he is paying attention.
Rob fixes his attention on the send button, and the recording of his voice that approximates his voice and reads out his text message was made during the first few months of Rob’s illness. After that, he started reading the book aloud so that the technology could build a memory bank of words based on his own voice. Rob adds the astute point that even if he does not especially take pleasure in hearing his own voice, it is much preferable that it is his accent “rather than an American robot voice like Stephen Hawking.”
Lindsey walks into the room just as we are getting close to the conclusion of yet another emotionally draining interview. Despite the difficulty of Rob’s illness, this extraordinary couple has put me at rest, and as a result, the three of us have shared an unexpectedly large quantity of laughter together. In the course of the last few weeks, we have established a pattern that we follow when conducting our interviews. While Rob slowly prepares his comments, Lindsey and I are having a conversation here at the computer.
It is very similar to conducting two different interviews simultaneously, but they make the process more simpler. When I ask Lindsey if Rob is able to concentrate while we talk, she reacts with a giggle and says, “Oh yes, he’s used to me talking every minute anyway.” I then ask if Rob is able to pay attention to our conversation. Rob relates that the most challenging period of his life began not long after he lost the ability to communicate towards the end of the previous year. This transpired at the same time that a nationwide lockdown was being carried out for the second time. Rob says that this was the moment when he struggled the most. He had the feeling that he was completely isolated in his ailing body by himself. On the other hand, the increased help that he has received has caused him to change.