Author: Stacy Nielsen
Born without legs, improper bone growth in his arms and adopted at birth, Vail is the founder and owner of Keen Healthcare. Vail’s personal story of overcoming obstacles is the heart of Keen’s mission and service to the People: never take no for an answer. When he was 22, Vail was told he would be wheelchair bound, and when he looked into the world of Healthcare Products to guide him on his journey for increased mobility, security and independence, it seemed there was little available for him. Everywhere Vail looked, not only were options scarce, there was a lack of service. Instead of feeling disheartened, Vail saw an enormous opportunity. Sometimes it takes turning the kaleidoscope ever so slightly, and a road block becomes a stepping stone.
Vail has a true calling to change the world for the better, and because of his internal drive he invented a product that founded Keen: the Keen Navigator Crutch. Vail was getting around using prosthetic legs and crutches, and he was experiencing severe neck, back and shoulder pain. He looked into the Durable Medical Equipment industry for a pair of crutches that offered better support to alleviate his chronic pain, and Vail was met with resounding "No's" everywhere he went. This only motivated Vail more to innovate what he needed in his life. And he knew, there were many People out there who could finally receive the comfort and mobility they deserved. The first product Vail invented, The Keen Navigator Crutch, is designed to eliminate all the typical crutch problems. Featuring a solid-core polymer shock which absorbs the energy protecting the joints, reduces stress on the back, shoulders, wrists, and elbows, the Navigator Crutch is the only one of its kind; built with the end-user in mind. From the contoured underarm support, which Vail designed to increase blood circulation, to the micro-adjustable handle, all the way down to the pivoting Aventure tip, the focus of these crutches was to provide a population with safety, comfort and mobility. From this product, Keen Healthcare was born, and caregivers and end-users alike asked Vail: “What else can you do?!” There was such a huge positive response to the Keen Navigator Crutch, several other product lines were born.
Vail Horton’s story is the foundation that Keen’s mission is built upon: to provide the highest level of service, the most top-quality product, and to Teach the World to never take no for an answer.