Students transform wheelchairs into Halloween works of art

SOCASTEE, SC (WBTW) – Socastee High School’s Robotics Team is helping make Halloween extra memorable this year for three local families.

One of them is the Lynch family. Their 10-year-old son, Christian, uses a wheelchair and is recovering from a total hip reconstruction surgery.

“They called me and said we’re [going to] do this for Christian. I was so excited,” Christian’s mother, Robin, said. “It was meant to be because we weren’t even [going to] do anything for Halloween.”

The Braves Bots – a group of 9th through 12th graders – have spent the past several weeks trying to figure out how to transform Christian’s wheelchair into a Batmobile.

“We interview the families and the kids and find out what their interests are – the kinds of things they like and what makes them happy,” Braves Bots Coach Kyle Myres said. “Then the hard work begins. We have to start looking at what materials can we use? How does it fit all together? The families came in midway through to really look at how we were going to attach to their chairs. The chairs are very unique to the person.”

The Lynch family saw Christian’s finished costume Thursday, as a team of students installed it on his wheelchair. We asked Robin how much their effort meant to her family – and she began tearing up.

“We’ve had such a rough year with surgery and all the appointments and rehab,” she explained through her tears. “It means so much. It gives us some normal in our life, instead of being medical and going to the doctors all the time. He’s normal – just like another little boy.”

And Myres says its those moments – the smiles, the excitement, the laughter – that has her team already looking forward to next year’s creations.

“I tell the kids, ‘This is something that will help you the rest of your lives.’ I’m just really proud of the kids. They’ve worked really hard to make something special. That’s a gift,” Myres said.

The Braves Bots created its first wheelchair costumes in 2016. Along with Christian’s Batmobile, the team also created a DJ booth and Cinderella carriage costume. Myres says they already have their first person signed up for next year’s project and hope to add two more to the list.