What did this teenager make that changed the life of a paraplegic new mum?
We often take simple pleasures of motherhood - such as the ability to take our babies out for a walk - for granted. What happens when you can't walk? Find out how a brilliant invention by a clever young man can potentially enhance the lives of paraplegic mums around the world...
Playing hide-and-seek with the kids, taking them to a mall for their favourite ice-cream treat or even just going for a long leisurely stroll down East Coast Park are just a few ways we like to spend time with our children.
But we often take these little ways of enjoying time with our kids for granted.
If you could not walk, how could you do any of these things freely and comfortably? This is where brilliant young men such as 16-year-old US teenager Alden Kane come to the rescue.
This thoughtful teen has come up with a way of allowing a paraplegic new mum to safely carry her baby without worrying that her wheelchair will tip over.
Research with a purpose
According to reports, Alden was given the task of designing and creating something that would allow a wheelchair-bound mum independence to safely transport her baby too. This was part of his research class at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School.
He first learnt a special software programme that would enable him to create virtual models. Alden then had to address logistical and functional issues in his invention:
“The first iteration was a baby carrier without wheels. After learning that the mother had problems with her wheelchair tipping over, we decided the extra weight was going to be a problem,” says the young inventor.
Alden’s final invention was simple, yet brilliant — a lightweight frame that can be attached to a wheelchair and accomodates a regular baby car seat.
The frame uses a quick release like those found on bikes and disposes of the need for a special baby seat, making it easy to use and practical too.
The young man explains: “By accommodating the car seat, we did not have to design a new one in our project. This makes for a better product. It also saves on the cost.”
Dr. Darrell Kleinke, who is Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the university says, “This was Alden’s project from the beginning. He designed it and created a prototype out of PVC tubing with minimal oversight.”
Giving a new lease of freedom to a paraplegic new mum
The prototype of Alden’s clever design was given to new mum Sharina Jones, who has been a paraplegic since she was a child, according to FOX 2 reports.
Sharina, who lost the ability to walk after she was shot (yes, shot!) by another child at the age of five, was longing to just be able to take her baby out for a stroll like other mums.
She says, “A lot of my friends have babies and they are out running with their babies in strollers. And I thought, ‘What am I going to do?'”
Alden’s invention has helped solve her problem, and as you can see in the video below, the clever invention has been a huge success.
“After six months of hard work, six months of working in the machine shop designing it up, it was priceless seeing the design on her wheelchair, being used with her child in it,” says Kane.
We are sure you will all agree that Alden sets an amazing example to youth all around the world. There’s no doubt that this teenager is going to go very far in life and we wish him all the best!
Do share your thoughts about this article in a comment below.