Toddler gets toy Jeep to help with mobility
A shiny, green Power Wheels Jeep Wrangler went rolling down the hallways inside Madonna's Institute for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering. The battery-powered toy vehicle has been specially renovated for 16-month-old Carter Brown.
It includes an adapted steering wheel with a big green accelerator button, a new seat and frame along with a remote control. Carter has limited mobility due to a traumatic brain injury he suffered at birth.
"The ability to sit in a battery-powered vehicle and press a button on the steering wheel to start up the engine and go as opposed to using pedals gives Carter the ability to become independent, be mobile and to learn cause and effect," said Chase Pfeifer, Ph.D., assistant research director for the Rehabilitation Engineering Center.
Carter had a smile from ear to ear as he rode in his new car. His parents operated it with the remote control, but are working to teach him to push the button on his own.
After watching Carter Wednesday, his mother Katy said, "Since Carter was born with his birth injury, seeing his smile is what makes me heal everyday and just seeing that, was an amazing experience for me."
His father Chris added, "I mean even today pushing the button to go, six or eight months ago he wouldn't have come even close to so yeah, baby steps, has kind of been our motto and we're on our own timeline with Carter, and hopeful with that timeline eventually he'll get it all figured out and we think he's off to a good start."
In Carter's short life he's spent time in both in and out-patient care at Madonna. He currently goes through therapy several days a week in Topeka, Kansas, as his parents said he's still learning to sit, crawl and walk.
Chris and Katy said they're extremely thankful for all the care and help Madonna has given Carter and they can't wait for nicer weather to get his Jeep outside.