A group of school children made a special wheelchair stroller so that a disabled parent can walk their newborn child.
Jeremy King, 37, has mobility problems following an operation to remove a brain tumor in 2017.
He was concerned about how he would manage to help his future wife Chelsie after she gave birth.
Chelsie, a teacher at Bullis School in Maryland, enlisted the help of her students who designed the WheeStroll, a child seat that connects to a wheelchair.
Just a few weeks after the couple’s son Phoenix was born, Jeremy was able to take him for a walk with the hybrid stroller and wheelchair.
Jeremy said: “I was excited and euphoric that something like this really increases my son’s independence.
“It has allowed me to experience things that I would not have been able to do before I had the WheeStroll. It allows us, as a family, to have more freedom of movement. “
Chelsie High School Theater Instructor said, “Being able to see Jeremy have some independence with our son is a gift.
“This surgery changed our lives drastically and we have worked very hard to accept, learn and overcome those challenges, but parenting is a whole new set of challenges.
“It has given us the ability to do something simple like take a family outing; something many families don’t have to think twice about. “
Just three months after getting engaged to Chelsie, Jeremy underwent eight-hour surgery for a brain tumor in October 2017 that resulted in mobility problems.
She said: “I was very concerned for my safety and that of our son, especially since Chelsie had to support us both.
“That played in my mind constantly, so it was important for us to find things that could help.”
The couple searched for a product to help Jeremy, but with no luck, Chelsie enlisted the help of her colleague, innovation and technology lab coordinator Matt Zigler.
She asked him if he could design something to attach to Jeremy’s wheelchair that would allow him to hold his son while traveling.
Chelsie said: He had the idea to throw this into his ‘doing for social good’ class and I thought it was an amazing idea. “
Children from the school conducted interviews with the family and the fire department, who provide training on the installation of infant safety seats.
The school team bought or 3D printed all the necessary parts and even borrowed a wheelchair from the school nurse as a prototype.
Jeremy, who works in administration, said: “It was a very emotional experience because I never thought I could safely do something like go for a walk with my son.”
The WheeStroll was completed in time for the baby’s birth on March 4 of this year, and within a few weeks, Jeremy was taking baby Phoenix for a walk.
“We hope that people will see this story,” Jeremy said, “and know that there are ways to get around their challenges and that they can build this themselves at a low cost.
“I want to personally thank the students for taking my situation into account and developing this incredible device.”
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