The group of Marquette senior students building Namine’s sport wheelchair have finished their project. They gave their presentation, and sent us home with a brand new chair.
We were invited to watch the students’ final presentation of the completed chair. We made sure to arrive with plenty of time beforehand.
Side note: we noticed another project being presented later: a “low cost ventilator.” Namine doesn’t need any breathing equipment anymore, but where was this when she was? (Kidding. Kind of.)
Before the presentation started, though, the students gave Namine another present: a Bucks shirt with her name on the back.
In their presentation, the biomechanical engineering students outlined the problems that Namine faced in requiring a sports wheelchair. Aside from the cost (which is prohibitive, let me assure you), a typical chair does not account for the fragility of Namine’s limbs. The positioning of the wheels and the center of gravity are also not ideal for her, since having Caudal Regression Syndrome has proportioned her differently. It was not simply a matter of building a sport wheelchair.
The final product is impressive indeed. The frame is made of titanium and steel. It features a leg guard to protect Namine’s legs, but it’s also removable to make transfers easier. The seat’s cushioning is adjustable, and the backrest is adjustable not only in horizontal and vertical positioning, but in tension as well. The rainbow coloring was at Namine’s request.
The final test, of course, was whether or not the new chair would fit in our car. It’s a bit of a squeeze, but since both chairs’ wheels are removable (we’d never have gotten the new chair out of the building if they weren’t), the chairs do fit next to each other in the back.