Thanks to the hard work of two students at Smoky Mountain High School and the support of their classmates, sick children at Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva and Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte will have more mobility during their hospital stays.
Juniors Carson Price and Brianna Ashe, as part of a service project for HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America), raised $500 by making presentations in the community to purchase wagons with a special bracket that can accommodate a child's IV drip equipment as they move around the hospital.
The bracket, known as Chad's Bracket, was the brainstorm of Roger Leggett and his son, Chad, after Roger's granddaughter spent time in the hospital because of a brain tumor. The two noticed how difficult it was for families to move their children around the hospital with the IV drip equipment in tow. After Chad passed away suddenly, Roger continued working on the design and named the bracket in Chad's honor. The resulting Radio Flyer wagons with specially fitted brackets are paid for entirely by donations. In addition, Mr. Leggett donates his time and resources to make and install all of the brackets in his home workshop.
Students Carson and Brianna, along with the other members of the SMHS HOSA club, and their advisors, Mrs. Maria Caldwell and Mrs. Kaila Day, decided to raise money to purchase one wagon, but were able to purchase two. Roger and his wife, Debbie, who live in the Atlanta area, were so impressed with the dedication of the HOSA students that they donated an additional ten wagons and brackets. They delivered the finished wagons to SMHS on Valentine's Day where HOSA members welcomed them with a reception and their thanks.
"We are now able to donate two wagons to Harris and the remaining ten to Levine Children's Hospital thanks to the generosity of Roger and Debbie," said Mrs. Day. The students will take the ten wagons with them to Charlotte when they attend this year's North Carolina HOSA convention March 6-9.
"We are so incredibly proud of our students for taking the initiative to get this project underway," said Mrs. Caldwell. "They took this to heart and worked really hard to make this happen."