DALLAS—When students at Baylor University’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing learned senior design engineering students at Baylor developed a therapeutic swing for a child with special needs, they recognized young guests at the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas could benefit from a similar project.
Last year, engineering students at Baylor created a therapeutic swing for Camille Whitt, whose father, Jason Whitt, is associate director of Baylor’s Institute for Faith and Learning. Camille battles a genetic condition that limits her development and motor skills and makes her unable to use standard swings. However, the therapeutic swing’s gentle rhythm improves her brain equilibrium and helps her connect to her surroundings.
The Baylor Student Nurses Association learned about the “Camille Big Girl Swing” project, and they thought about the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, a home-away-from-home for families of seriously ill or injured children who have traveled to Dallas seeking medical treatment in area hospitals.
So, the association asked a group of engineering students in the May 2017 graduating class to design a similar swing as their senior capstone project. In January, the senior design team met with nursing school representatives at the Ronald McDonald House.
“We discussed design ideas and brainstormed functionalities that we though were important for the swing,” said Taylor McCants, a senior engineering student. “After that, the engineering group has worked hard to make this dream come true. There has been a nursing school representative at each of our presentations about the swing. They have shown their support and involvement through the process. It is nice to know that they are just as passionate about this swing as our engineering group.”
Members of the student nurses association set a $2,000 fund-raising goal for the Swing ’em Bears project and went to work. They conducted a bake sale at the nursing school, sold Swing ’em Bears long-sleeve T-shirts and sponsored a fund-raiser at a Dallas restaurant.
The new swing include aesthetic and functional improvements, such the ability to hold 100 pounds, to be adjusted easily and moved by two people, and an electric gear motor powered by a standard wall outlet.
The Baylor Student Nurses Association has a longstanding relationship with the Ronald McDonald House and its members “wanted to do something special for these children and their families,” said Kaitlyn Po, president of the association.
“We are honored to have been chosen by the Baylor Student Nurses Association and Baylor’s engineering team as a recipient of the Camille Big Girl Swing,” said Maggie Herell, marketing and communications manager at the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. “We serve over 3,750 individuals each year, and all of them have different needs. Having this swing will allow us to serve children with a variety of special needs.”
Based on a report by marketing and communications at the Louise Herrington School of Nursing.