A young boy with a rare lung disease has run around with his pet dog for the first time, after a student designed a lightweight backpack for his vital oxygen supply. Lenny Yule, 11, from Linwood, Renfrewshire, has interstitial lung disease which has scarred his organs. He has to carry around a tank of liquid oxygen when away from home in case he is short of breath. His original bag was designed to be used by older patients and restricted his movement as it was far too large for him.
Lenny from Linwood, Renfrewshire, now enjoys running with his dog, thanks to his redesigned backpack
Design student Hannah Jenkins, 21, came up with a solution to Lenny's problem after his problem was flagged up by Yorkhill Children's Hospital to the company 4c Design where she was interning. Using a commercially available bag which is more size-appropriate for Lenny, she included padded, flexible straps for a comfortable fit and hidden straps in a back pocket which allow the backpack to be hung from a larger school bag and side straps to prevent side-to-side movement.
Miss Jenkins also put velcro over the Helios oxygen tank to prevent movement when the bag is worn while running and a front pocket to store tubing which connects to the tank. 'The straps on the backpack that Lenny was having to use were too long to fit his frame,' the Glasgow School of Art student said. 'So the oxygen tank hit off of his lower back as he ran and it swayed from side to side. This made playing football, running around with his pet dog and even walking to school very uncomfortable.'
Hannah Jenkins fits the rucksack on Lenny. It was designed to prevent it swinging side to side when he runs
Lenny’s mother Edel said: 'Lenny loved being involved with the design process for the new backpack and his ideas and suggestions where taken on board. Hannah was very patient with him and gave him what he wanted and needed with a new lightweight comfortable bag. 'We have always insisted that Lenny be active and we would never let having an oxygen tank stop him living a full and healthy lifestyle. He no longer has to take the backpack off to play football or be on his scooter, both of which would have previously involved a lot of bumping around with the old bag, and this means he can do these activities for longer. Lenny is a very confident boy and this backpack means that he can shine just that little bit more. The kindness of all the team at 4c and all the hard work that Hannah has put in is amazing and they have made our boy have one less thing to worry about in his life. We could never thank them enough.'
The backpack included padded, flexible straps for a comfortable fit and hidden straps in a back pocket which allow the backpack to be hung from a larger school bag
Lenny’s family are involved with the charity Child Lung Foundation that raises awareness of rare lung diseases as well as supporting the families of children affected. The blueprint for Miss Jenkins’s design will be given to the foundation so it can create backpacks for other children who need to carry oxygen. Robin Smith, from Glasgow-based 4c Design, said: 'We had become aware of Lenny’s situation through the strong connection we have built with Yorkhill Children’s Hospital for whom we had done some charitable work in the past. 'Given the rareness of Lenny’s condition it was not possible for the NHS to create a piece of equipment specifically for him, so we were delighted to take on the challenge.'
Source: Daily Mail UK