Drive, compassion and innovation paint a beautiful picture

LAS CRUCES – Sam Cueto likes to paint, mostly landscapes and abstract paintings. It has been a difficult interest for him to pursue — Cueto is a quadriplegic. His drive, a compassionate therapist’s search for a solution and the technological help of engineering students at New Mexico State University, led to a uniquely designed art station that makes it easier for him to engage in his creative past-time.

Cueto lost his mobility due to negligence during a surgery when he was eight years old.

 “Sam had been painting for quite some time. Some of his therapists tried to jimmy a way for him to hold a paintbrush in his mouth with a head array,” said Erika Hernandez, Cueto’s occupational therapist for the past year. Former therapists encouraged Cueto to paint as a method to strengthen his neck and increase head control.