Local sixth-graders design oxygen tank holder for toddler with rare syndrome

CHARLOTTE — A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools class project will soon change the life of a two-year-old girl.

Emmett Highshoe has Kabuki syndrome and she has to carry an oxygen tank 24 hours a day.

“Kabuki syndrome is a rare disorder and “is present from birth,” according to the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. “Features often include a characteristic facial appearance, skeletal abnormalities, short stature, heart defects and intellectual disability.”

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“She is full of spunk and energy and sass, which she’s had to have to fight through so much,” said her mother, Maleigh Highshoe.

A McClintock Middle School teacher saw an opportunity for students to help Emmett by creating an oxygen carrier for her.

"I saw the need that somebody was chasing her with a backpack holding the tank. I thought that's something 3D printing and sixth-graders could accomplish to get it to where the parents don't have to follow her around the house all the time," teacher Ben Davis said.

The sixth-graders met Emmett and went to work creating different designs.

"It clips on to the chair and you just put the bottle here," a student said while presenting his design.

The students presented 13 different designs to Mr. Davis and Emmett’s mother.

“I was completely blown away,” said Maleigh Highshoe.

"It was amazing, being able to help someone. Not only get the education from it, but also helping people too," another student said.

The designs may also help other kids like Emmett.

"The neat long-term idea is we can take these plans the kids made and put them on the wheelchair’s website and anyone could print them on a 3D printer," said Principal Mark McHugh.

"This could be something that could change the world and help other people that really need this, so it's really exciting," said a student.

Mr. Davis said he’ll be teaching the class next semester and is always looking for projects that benefit the community.

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