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High schoolers invent device to help girl with disability

Posted: 6:28 PM, Nov 17, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-18 00:28:36Z

(WPBN) A high school engineering class has invented a device that could make life a lot easier for a 6-year-old girl, living with a muscular disorder.

Stella Malpass was born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC), which is a joint condition that limits her ability to fully extend and flex her arms and legs. Although she's had five surgeries and a lot of physical and occupational therapy to help her recover, she still faces limitations, like going to the bathroom on her own. 

"This is the one thing in school she needs help with," said Stella's mom, Kim Malpass. "She can do just about everything on her own she just doesn't have the strength to pull her pants up."

Stella's occupational therapist researched a solution, and ultimately contacted the engineering department at Petoskey High School to see if their students were willing to help. 

Sure enough, they were all in, and within a week the class designed a prototype and printed it using a 3-D printer. 

The device includes a plastic piece with collapsible pins on the top and bottom that attach to Stella's pants. She can then grasp the top bar of the device with her thumb, and pull her pants up and down.

"I knew they would come up with something," said Malpass. "I'm really grateful these young people came together to help my daughter, it's wonderful."