Thursday, December 12, 2019

UATP, Prime Time 4 Kids work together, customize a little wheelchair

portrait of Westyn in his wheelchair
VERNAL—Westyn Hacking had come to the time in his life where he needed to get up off the floor.

He couldn’t sit up—a condition he has had since birth gives him only minimal control of his core muscles. He is also blind. But like other children his age he likes to be up, near people, interacting with his family.  

The toddler is also growing.

“He’s getting heavy,” said his mother, Shaylee. “That’s 25 or 30 pounds that you’re packing around. … When we go out to eat, he was either being held or we’d get it to go.” 

She worked with Michael Peterson, an occupational therapist with Prime Time for Kids in Vernal. Peterson had some donated equipment from a former employer, Canyon Home Care. One of the donated wheelchairs was small, but it wasn’t quite a perfect fit. 

So Peterson reached out to Cameron Cressall with the Utah Assistive Technology Program in Vernal. Cameron added a sturdier handle, more supportive straps and some sections of pool noodle on the sides to protect Westyn’s head. He brought the foot pedals up higher to fit Westyn’s legs. 

It wasn’t the first project Michael and Cameron have collaborated on. Both said they liked drawing from each other’s expertise. The result was a chair that fit both Westyn’s body and his situation.

Now, when the Harding family goes out to eat, Westyn can be up at the table on his own. “This gives us a little more freedom,” Shaylee said. 

Do you have used equipment to donate? If it fits children age three and younger in the Uintah Basin, Prime Time 4 Kids is happy to take it. And UATP is glad to accept and reuse equipment for all ages and abilities.

To find out more about donating to UATP, visit our reuse page.

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