DENVER (CBS4) – Getting around like other colleagues is usually not as easy for 3-year-old Ollie Horton. He has a physical handicap that requires a hiker.
“He was late to crawl. He is almost 4 years old and still not running. Movement and mobility have always been a challenge for him, ”said Johnny Horton, Ollie’s father.
Because of this, Eli Murphy, an eighth grader from the Seattle area, decided to help him.
“Mostly just because it felt right, but I was also looking for something to do while COVID was out and just gave me a little bit of sense during this difficult time,” he said.
Eli adapted a drivable electric toy car for Ollie as a school project. He changed the car’s steering system and pedals, adding padding and a lap belt. All during online schoolwork.
“It was pretty easy. I just had to maneuver around a few things in my daily schedule, but once I got that done it was pretty easy from there, ”he said.
The car and materials cost less than $ 400. That’s a lot cheaper than a motorized wheelchair, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Ollie seems to love his new mobility.
“Every time he learns something new on the Jeep, you can just see him light up, and we just really enjoy that empowerment,” said Johnny.
“I think it’s really cool with what he’s done over the past two days,” said Eli.
Eli has been pilot funded by the California-based non-profit Harbor Freight Tools for Schools to demonstrate how to teach craft classes online during the COVID-19 pandemic.