A group of ten students recently created a wheelchair-stroller for a new parent with impaired mobility. Thoughtful students at Bullis School, Maryland created the wheelchair-stroller making it possible for a new dad to take his newborn son on a walk.
3 years ago, Jeremy King, from Germantown, Maryland, underwent surgery for a brain tumor but sadly, the surgery left Jeremy with numerous physical challenges like his balance, which meant he would need to use a wheelchair
Last year, he and his wife, Chelsie found out they expecting a baby but as exciting as the news was, the couple was concerned over how they would take their child out on walks and other activities.
Speaking with Good Morning America, Chelsie explained: “While he can walk, he can’t do so safely carrying a child. So we jumped into, ‘OK, what do we need in order for him to parent safely?’ and honestly, not a whole lot came up – there’s just really not a ton of resources out there for disabled parents.”
After having no success online, Chelsie turned to Matt Zigler, a teacher at Bullis School where she works as a drama teacher and adviser.
Matt teaches a high school class called “Making for Social Good,” in which students design products that’ll have a positive social impact. So, Chelsie decided to ask Matt if he could help think of something that “might attach to Jeremy’s wheelchair” for when they go on a walk.
And so, at the starts of the trimester, Matt tasked his class with the challenge.
“It seemed like sort of the perfect challenge for this class. One, it was great to have it as a challenge, but two, it was great that it was somebody in our community that could benefit from it,” Matt said, NBC Washington reports.
“The idea of the course is to start out by trying to understand the problem, so we did interviews with the family,” Matt also told GMA. “We talked to somebody at the local fire department who actually does infant car seat installation training to try to better understand how those things work.”
The students set to work with their ideas and over a matter of weeks they managed to narrow it down to 2 which Matt said “both address the issue in slightly different ways.”
The class was then divided into 2 groups. One group worked on the WheeStroll Stroller Attachment, which could connect an infant car seat to Jeremy’s wheelchair, while the other group worked on the WheeStroll Stroller Connector, which could connect an entire stroller to a wheelchair.
The students finally finished their projects just in time for when Chelsie gave birth to their son, Phoenix in March meaning she and Jeremy could take the car seat attachment out for a try.
“Using it was overwhelming because I never thought I would be able to do something like this with our son,” Jeremy said. “Most people can go out on a walk with their family but that is really difficult for me — most people take that for granted.”
Although the project began as a small favour for the King family, it turned into something a lot bigger with the help of the students.
“I love the idea that these students got this project and it’ll be something long-lasting,” Chelsie said. “I know that they’ll remember that for years to come, which is all you can hope for as an educator.”
This is definitely the most heartwarming thing we’ve read today!