Roger Leggett, an expediter for Lockheed Martin, believes he has found a solution.
With help from students at Chattahoochee Technical College, Leggett has designed a wagon with an IV pole attachment.
The red wagon, he hopes, will make a big difference for children and families moving around hospitals.
In 2011, Leggett’s 7-year-old granddaughter, Felicity Withrow, was diagnosed with brain cancer.
After her first surgery, Roger Leggett and his son, Chad Leggett, Felicity’s uncle, saw the need for the wagon invention.
“We were at Scottish Rite after the initial surgery,” Leggett said. “My son and I were on our way to the cafeteria, and we saw a woman trying to help a child with a bandaged head, who had obviously just had some sort of surgery.”
Leggett, who lives in Pickens County, said he and his son watched as the woman tried to push the bandaged boy into the elevator, pulling the IV pole behind her. When the IV pole nearly fell, “It was all she could do to catch it from falling on top of the child,” he said, noting he could see the stress of the situation.
“Trying to maneuver both devices was just plain too dangerous for one person, especially a parent distracted by the stress that comes with having a sick child,” Leggett said.
He said he and his son mulled over a couple of ideas during the hospital visit on how they could design a wagon with an IV pole attachment.
Leggett discussed design possibilities with friends, who put him in touch with Chattahoochee Technical College.
“Roger was introduced to me by two gentlemen at Lockheed,” Dave Taylor, a welding instructor at CTC, said.
Taylor agreed to meet with Leggett at the school to discuss the design and to take the lead in fabricating and prototyping several different versions.
Taylor said his welding class was “constantly evolving” and working on the red wagon IV device was a perfect project for his preparation for industrial management class, which is the final course for a diploma in the welding and joining program.
Leggett donated his prototype to Scottish Rite on Tuesday. The version isn’t quite finished, said Gary Noland, the hospital’s clinical engineering director.
“There are still some tweaks needed,” Noland said, including one necessary change to increase the height of the IV pole, because the infusion pump works with gravity. “Even though it’s an electronic pump, your bag has to be 18 inches above to pump itself.”
Noland agrees the red wagon device will benefit patients and families.
“I saw the benefit for it right away,” Noland said.
Leggett said he hopes to finalize the design and build as many as 40 wagons in the future, with a plaque and a dedication to a child on each one, he said.
The dedication plaque on the wagon presented Tuesday says “Donated by Beulah Masonic Lodge 698, Dallas, Georgia, in honor of Felicity Withrow and in memory of Chad Leggett.” Roger Leggett said his son died of heat stroke in 2011.