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Students adapt wheelchair to allow teacher's husband to take baby for a walk after brain surgery

Students adapt wheelchair for teacher's husband and newborn
Students adapt wheelchair to allow teacher's husband to take newborn for walk 01:30

When Phoenix King was born four months ago, his parents Jeremy and Chelsie faced a difficult road ahead. Jeremy had brain surgery three years ago to remove a brain tumor, Chelsie said, which left him with what she described as "some physical challenges and physical disabilities." 

One big question: How could Jeremy safely take Phoenix for a walk? 

Chelsie, a teacher at Bullis School, a private school in Potomac, Maryland, reached out to the head of the school's technology lab Matt Zigler. He then presented the challenge to his students — including Jacob Zlotnitsky and Ibenka Espinoza, both of whom hope to study astrophysics in college. 

The students designed a life-changing invention for Jeremy, who is now able to enjoy the simple pleasure of taking a stroll with his family. 

Prototypes for the WheeStroll, as they call it, were made using a 3D printer. The students designed custom brackets and shaped aluminum maker pipe to secure the wheelchair and stroller together. 

Students work on their invention, the WheeStroll, which adapts a wheelchair to allow the person to push a stroller.  Mark Riffee / Bullis School

"I think they dumped a bunch of cinderblocks in it and actually weight-tested it at the school a couple times, which I think the kids were really into," Chelsie said of the design. 

Their design won two international design awards — and for Jeremy, it's a godsend. "I never thought I'd be able to do something like this safely," he said. "I feel wonderful. I feel ecstatic." 

Zlotnitsky said "seeing the smiles on their faces" was the best part about coming up with the successful design. 

"The relief that, oof, it worked," added Espinoza. 

Chelsie and Jeremy King go for a walk with their son.  Chelsie King
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