A group of high school students in Maryland designed a wheelchair-stroller to help a father go for walks with his newborn son.
Three years ago, Jeremy King, 37, underwent surgery for a brain tumor and has had “significant balance issues” since the surgery. When he and his wife, Chelsie, learned they had a child on the way, Jeremy was worried he would not be able to take the baby on walks.
Chelsie, a teacher at Bullis High School in Potomac, Maryland, asked fellow educator, Matt Zigler, if he could help. Zigler teaches a class called “Making for Social Good” where students work to create products that have a positive social impact.
“It’s been amazing,” Zigler told TODAY. “This has been the most successful of the projects that we’ve done in the three years that I’ve taught this class, and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that it was somebody in our community and so the students were really motivated to just keep trying and keep testing out different ideas and design and redesign … I think the fact that the students knew it was going to be used, made it more real for them, and they knew because it was going to be used, it had to be good.”
The 10 students developed two products which allow a person in a wheelchair to walk their child in a stroller. The first product, designed for newborns and small children, attaches a carseat to a wheelchair, and the second, created for older children, uses 3D-printed equipment to attach a stroller to a wheelchair itself.
Just a few weeks after the couple’s son Phoenix was born, Jeremy was able to safely take him out for walks with the pram-wheelchair hybrid.
“Just being able to see Jeremy have that independence with our son was something really incredible,” Chelsie said. “Parenting can be really scary for anybody, but we had a set of challenges ahead of us that we’re still navigating as our son grows. … It’s really special to be able to get outside and share a walk together as a family, so the gratitude that we both felt having it dropped off and being able to use it going forward has been just a really incredible gift.”