About the solution
Ryan, who has a background in mechanical engineering, wanted to create a swing that could hold Mary and her 450 pound wheelchair.
“We move quite a bit. By the time she was five or six, Mary had lived in four or five different houses. Prior to Alabama, we lived in New York on a military base where there was a playground that was wheelchair-accessible nearby. She was able to feel included, playing with her brother and her friends. Here, the accessible playgrounds are 10 or 15 miles away. The kids wanted me to build a swing set in the backyard, and as Mary’s gotten bigger she wants to do more things in her chair. In the past, we’ve had a modified swing where I could lift her up and lay her flat so she could swing. But she said she wanted a swing that her chair can go in. So, I said I would do it. My goal is the swing and a playhouse that she can access, which allows her to get to an elevated level where she can play with her friends”, the pilot explained.
Mary’s father won a Fatherly Fund grant from a parenting website, after getting the most votes in Fatherly’s competition. He used the $1,000 to buy a quarter ton of lumber, bolts and other hardware to build the giant swing in a single day.
Mary’s wheelchair can be rolled up the ramp and, with a little push, is gliding back and forth. Siblings and friends can even glide with her.
“The only thing Mary is limited by is our imagination. Try not to tell your child they can’t do something – they can do it, they just need a little help. The other thing is, you have to be the advocate for your child. You can’t rely on other people to make things happen. If there’s something you want your child to do and the technology isn’t readily available, go after it”, the inventor observed.
Adapted from: http://bit.ly/2lHEJe0
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