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Wichita State students create all-terrain wheelchair for boy with cerebral palsy

Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 4:28 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Many of you would agree it’s not easy learning remotely during the pandemic, but a group of Wichita State University students made the best of it. They completed a life-changing project for a young Kansas boy and presented the finished project -- in person.

Sutton Slade is six years old. He was born with cerebral palsy and has been in a wheelchair since he was about one. Early on, his parents realized it wasn’t the only chair he needed, especially being outside with his brother and sister.

“Running through the garden, fishing and doing all sorts of things in our backyard, and it’s really really challenging for him to be able to do any of that,” said Sutton’s mom, Tiffany.

She also said a more accessible wheelchair would have cost the family thousands of dollars.

Samantha Corcoran teaches a new program at Wichita State called Accessible Design. When she heard about Sutton’s situation, she asked her students if they might be able to help.

“When I told the students about Sutton, four of the students came to me after class and said, ‘yes, this is what I want to do,‘”. recalled Corcoran.

The students worked for months, through the pandemic. With the help of many others in the community. They gave students advice and materials, even a custom seat donated from the Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation. The students turned a normal jogging stroller into something much more. Then in August, Sutton got a special delivery.

Sutton’s parents say, in their book, the students passed.

″Building a community where everyone can get everywhere. Oh my gosh! What a world we would live in!”

Ms. Corcoran agrees.

″They aced it. Absolutely,” she said.

Copyright 2020 KWCH. All rights reserved.

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