Young Inventor Alleviates Pain for Others

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Young Inventor Alleviates Pain for Others

Krysta Morlan, a young inventor with cerebral palsy, was bored with typical physical therapy and adaptive equipment that had no pizazz. So she invented what she calls the waterbike. It operates in a semi-submerged position and utilizes fins for power and a rudder to steer. Lightweight PVC tubing and foam makes it float. Other kids in her position are likely to find the bike more exciting than medical adaptive equipment that just reminds them of their disability. The waterbike can be used recreationally as well for people who have joint problems. Water creates just the right amount and kind of resistance to help repair and build muscle and joint strength. But, Morlan's ability to invent began while she was in 9th grade and after she endured numerous surgeries and casts to improve her condition. Her first invention was called a Cast Cooler, and she created it with her father as a way to relieve the discomfort of wearing a cast. With a modified aquarium pump, small motor and a battery, they figured out a way to pump cool air into a cast through a tube. The idea earned her an apprenticeship at Lemelson-MIT in 1998. She now attends college. In the long term, Morlan would like to help find cures for people with genetic disorders. She also plans on continuing to find ways to improve adaptive technology.

   

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