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Paralyzed man sends first tweet with his eyes

Tony Nicklinson, a paralyzed man with locked-in syndrome, speaks to the world through Twitter with tweets written through eye movements.

Tony Nicklinson tweeting
Tony Nicklinson composes his first tweet.
Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Tony Nicklinson is a rugby fan, a husband, and a father. He also has locked-in syndrome, which has left him fully paralyzed. His only method of communicating is through a specially designed computer system triggered by small eye and head movements.

The tweet that started Nicklinson's social-media foray last week reads, "Hello world. I am tony nicklinson, I have locked-in syndrome and this is my first ever tweet. #tony "

Locked-in syndrome, famously portrayed in the movie "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," leaves nearly all voluntary muscles in the body paralyzed. Nicklinson's mind is fine, but the stroke that left him paralyzed has compromised his life. He filed a petition with the English courts to allow a doctor to euthanize him. His Twitter stream is one way to publicize his plight.

Nicklinson's tweets have covered the gamut from expressing his desire for his right-to-die hearing to start to more typical Twitter subjects like his gas-emitting dog and Father's Day gifts from his children.

Nicklinson now has more than 17,500 followers, but his Twitter experiment has left him a little bemused. "I can't believe I have over 12,600 followers. Never thought I was that interesting," he tweeted yesterday. Despite his disbelief, Nicklinson is that interesting.

Watch the video of Nicklinson's first tweet below.

(Via Huffington Post)