Oklahoma City high school students modify toy car for boy with special needs

Students, their teacher and administrators from Dove Science Academy posed for a picture with the Sloans. Engineering students modified the toy car for Guthrie, 2, so it can accommodate his special needs. (KOKH/Jordann Lucero)

Friday was a special day for two-year-old Guthrie Sloan. Students from Dove Science Academy, donated a toy car to the boy that they specially modified for him to drive.

Guthrie has COL4A1, a rare genetic disorder, his parents said. It's left the right side of his body weaker than the left, and Guthrie has Cerebral Palsy.

"At therapy, there's a car Guthrie drives, and it helps him with coordination and cause and effect," father Joshua Sloan said.

His wife, Barbie, posted on Facebook that she'd like to find someone who could modify a car for Guthrie to use at home.

"After Dove caught wind of this, they took off. They were super excited and we have been eagerly waiting to meet everyone and see their results," Joshua said.

"It was some work that was kind of hard that we had to think about and really plan out to make sure we didn't mess up," Dove junior Jesse Cortez said. "There was a throttle on the foot and we actually cut the wires on that one and we wired it to the momentary switch."

The students also installed roll bars so Guthrie would not get hurt while using the car. They installed an iPod and speaker system for music.

From the moment Guthrie climbed inside his car, he lit up. He drove it up and down the halls of the school.

"They were so excited because you are helping someone's life, you are changing someone's life," said teacher Ahmet Unlu.

Unlu's students work on several real, hands on projects, including others that can help people in the community, like prosthetic hands.

"I believe that these types of projects help our students grow in many ways-- academically, socially, emotionally," Unlu said. "Like with that car."

"One, I'm glad it works. Two, I'm glad he's happy. That's all that matters," senior Sahar Hasan said.

The students want to modify cars for other children with special needs.

Parents can contact Dove Science Academy-OKC, 405-524-9762.

The class also hopes people in the community will donate either 12 volt cars or money to the project, to allow them to do it. Each car costs $100 to $200.

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