Five years ago, Mcvey fell from a ladder, crushing his spine and is now permanently paralyzed from the waist down.
"My paralysis is not straight across it's angled, so I have no use of my abdominal muscles on this side and some use on the other side," Mcvey said.
Mcvey found his wheelchair confining, he was losing muscle strength. He wanted to get stronger. That's when he heard about the virtual sailing program for people with spinal cord injuries, being used for research at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore.
Using a boat like vessel, called the V-Sail Access Sailing Simulator System along with a computer, patients learn to maneuver a craft that simulates what it's like to sail a boat. The course is 12 weeks and designed to improve upper body strength, general health and self-esteem for those with spinal cord injuries
However, with sailing comes water, so once the patients are ready, they're taken to the harbor where they steer their own sailboat. For John Mcvey, it was a moment he will never forget.