Waco: BU students design special swing for girl with special needs

Camille Witt in the swing designed especially for her by a group of Baylor engineering students. (Photo by Madison Adams)
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) Seven-year-old Camille Witt was born with an undiagnosed genetic condition that limits her development and motor control.

Because of her condition she cannot safely use typical swings.

But thanks to a group of engineering students at Baylor University, she now has her very own swing designed specifically to meet her needs.

Drew Fry, a senior mechanical engineering major, participated in the group project.

“The swing is designed specifically for Camille, in a way to bring a soft soothing motion,” Fry said.

“For people with limited motor control (the motion) brings the brain into equilibrium and allows them to engage with their surroundings.”

Camille’s father, Dr. Jason Whitt, is the associate director of the Baylor Institute for Faith and Learning.

He had a conversation with Dr. Ian Gravagne, a Baylor associate professor of electrical and computer engineering in which he described how as an infant Camille was comforted by the motion of an automatic swing but she had since outgrown that swing.

Gravagne proposed a new project for seniors enrolled in the Engineering Capstone Design course that would design and engineer a swing large enough for Camille to use.

Whitt said the laughs and giggles heard from his daughter while using the swing for the first time show just how happy even just a little motion makes her.

"To watch her smile and laugh that is her, and the squeals and delights are her biggest signs of joy," Whitt said.

“We want to try to give her the fullest, most enjoyable life we can, and this is a chance to do just that,” Whitt said.

Fry said this was a more than just an engineering project to him and his classmates.

“To actually take that from a design into a reality is cool in any engineering setting, but for that to specifically mean laughs and giggles from a 7-year-old girl, that means a lot to us,” Fry said.