Disabled SC 2-year-old gains mobility thanks to Midlands students. Here’s what they did

·2 min read
Courtesy of Prisma Health

Cailum Gibson can now not only move around more freely, he can do it in style.

The 2-year-old disabled pediatric patient at Prisma Health in Columbia on Tuesday had his first test drive of a medically-modified mini-car thanks to the fundraising work of three young Midlands students. The three students who raised the $300 needed to buy and modify the mini-car were Carson Turner, 10, Kate Turner, 8, and Dalton Boswell, 12.

The fundraising was a service project to help Gibson, who was born with a rare genetic disorder, Joubert Syndrome, that affects his brain development as well as his mobility.

This is the first mini-car presented to a Midlands patient through Prisma Health’s Go Baby Go program, according to a Prisma press release. Prisma gave away its first customized mini-cars last December in Greenville.

There are no commercially available devices for children with mobility issues to get around on their own, the press release states. Power wheelchairs cost thousands of dollars and usually aren’t an option until children are older. The modified cars provide them independence at a much younger age and at a relatively low cost.

A team of volunteers in Greenville helped assemble Gibson’s car, including a retired Naval submarine engineer, a retired immunologist and a retired chemical engineer. Turner also traveled there to help and then brought the car back to Columbia with his dad.

The car was modified for Gibson to accommodate his mobility challenges so he can ride in it to play and socialize more easily, especially outdoors.

“I knew this would be perfect for Cailum as soon as I learned about the program,” said Kia Gibson, Cailum’s mother. “He loves being outdoors and until now we’ve needed to carry him or push him in a stroller to be outside.”

Go Baby Go was founded as part of a research project at the University of Delaware. Researchers have now trained volunteers in more than 40 communities nationally and internationally with satellite sites all over the world to expand availability.