back to top

Watch The Moment A Man With ALS Tells His Wife "I Love You" For First Time In 16 Years

Don Moir was able to speak to his wife after a technology firm helped digitise the letter-board he used to communicate.

Posted on

This is the story of how Don Moir, a father of three diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), was able to tell his wife how much he loved her, 16 years after losing the ability to speak.

View this video on YouTube

Four years later, as his condition continued to get worse, he was fitted with a ventilator.

Not Impossible / Via

His wife said of the procedure: “I'm not even sure he realised that he wasn't going to be able to speak, but I remember explaining that to him: 'If you go on the ventilator, you won't be able to speak any more.’

“At that point, it was very difficult.”

Don was left communicating silently through a letter-board chart – a sheet of paper with the alphabet split into quadrants that Lorraine used by following Don's eyesight.

Not Impossible / Via

Many years later, Lorraine was listening to the radio when she heard the founder of technology firm Not Impossible Labs, Mick Ebeling, talking about the work the company was doing.

She then contacted the firm and asked for help in creating a digital solution for her husband.


“As soon as I found out about Don and Lorraine, I knew Not Impossible had to give Don his voice back,” Ebeling said.

Not Impossible / Via

Not Impossible then set out to make a digital version of the letter board.

“A year ago, I made Don a promise that I will find an answer that works for him specifically," engineer Javed Gangjee said.

“When I look at Don, that could be me, that could be my uncle, that could be my dad. What right do I have to do nothing about it?”

Not Impossible / Via

Ebeling said the goal of the project was to give Don his voice back and give him more independence.

The team eventually came up with a solution, using a HP computer and SpeakYourMind Foundation software, and developed a simple interface replicating the letter board.

And Don used the technology to tell his wife how much he loved her.

The Daily Mail reported that engineers are now trying to develop a way for Don to send emails and create an accurate version of his voice based on old film footage.

Not Impossible / Via

Not Impossible is also planning to make the software free to download to help other people around the world.

Richard James is the News Director for BuzzFeed Australia and is based in Sydney.

Contact Richard James at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.