High school students create wheelchair for girl with spina bifida

Faith Willis in her wheelchair created by high school students

Faith Willis in her wheelchair created by high school students

St. Louis, MO — A group of high school students jumped in to save the day after a girl living with spina bifida found out she was too little for a wheelchair.

“We found out at 20 weeks that she had spina bifida,” Melanie Willis, Faith’s mom, said.

The now 21-month-old used a walker, but she is not a fan of it.

“She hates her walker! So we thought maybe getting her in a wheelchair that would fit her size would help her with longer distances and not get so tired and be able to keep up with her peers a little bit better,” said Melanie.

The problem was Faith’s size, she was too small wheelchair, which is where Liberty High School Coach Vince Redman came in. The coach is also an engineering teacher and his students were required to choose a project that would help someone.

“The mother of Faith sent in an email saying her daughter had spina bifida and that they found blueprints online, and we thought this is something that needs to be done now,” high school senior James Redman said.

“Faith doesn’t have a whole lot of options by how small she is and what she can with her disability, but we figured this is something we could do and should do, so why not do it if it helps someone out,” said high school senior Hamza Mansoor.

So seven seniors raised money, designed and built a wheelchair just for Faith.

“She took off within minutes of sitting in the wheelchair,” Melanie said.

“I think I can pretty much speak for all of us when I say it made us really happy,” Moore said.

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