Bailey's wheels: 7-year-old without arms, bendable joints gets ride of his life
One little boy now has wheels to move in ways his body couldn't provide.
Seven-year-old Bailey Harris was given a special car at school to make life a little easier.
ABC 33/40'S Patrick Thomas got exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of how the car was created.
Bailey had been anticipating the big reveal for a long time, because his new motorized car is much more than a toy. Ask his momma Lula Taylor.
Taylor says, "When he was first born, they told me had no arms and legs.”
Because of Roberts Syndrome, Bailey doesn't have bendable joints, but he does have a big smile.
“I guess it comes from me, because I feel like he can never fail at nothing that he can do in life," she says.
Until now, he's been riding in a wheelchair.
“I’m just speechless right now. All he [has] been talking about is his car," she says.
Let's backtrack a little to how Bailey got the car. Since mid-January, University of Alabama Engineering students have been continuously tinkering, measuring and testing.
ABC 33/40 visited the engineering team a couple weeks before the big reveal, seeing the group hard at work in the lab, often for more than five hours at a time.
Christopher Augustine says, “The first initial challenge is finding out how he was gonna drive it.”
Bailey's feet are his hands. He actually uses his feet to write. So, Augustine says they got creative. “Can’t use a steering wheel. So we took the steering wheel out," Augustine explains.
The joystick is where a brake would be and a button is the throttle. Periodically, the practicing engineers came up to Inverness Elementary to make sure Bailey could fit in the car.
When he finally laid eyes on what he is now driving, he immediately approved.
Bailey says, grinning, "It was good.”
Augustine agrees, “Well it was a lot of hard work, and it made all that hard work worth it, definitely.”
Bailey's infectious smile isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
Why? -- "'cause I'm happy!" Bailey says.
If you happen to ever be inside the school, you'll see him cruising the hallways.