Middle schooler gets more mobility thanks to engineering students

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – An East Tipp Middle School student who has used a prosthetic leg almost all his life has more mobility thanks to some Purdue University engineering students.

Alex Morgan is a 13-year-old who enjoys playing with his brothers and playing sports, especially baseball. But since he was 9 months old, he’s had to wear a prosthetic leg.

“He’s a twin and he was born with fibular hemimelia, and that means he’s missing the smaller bone in his lower leg,” said Carrie Morgan, Alex’s mother.

Through one of Alex’s teammates, Purdue students in the EPICS engineering program came into the picture in August. They worked to make him a foot that would give him more mobility.

“After a semester in EPICS, we had most of the theoretical design completed,” said Haley Smith, a senior in mechanical engineering. “So we decided to roll it out to senior design, create a whole new team that could work on it. Rather than one or two days a week, we work on it five days a week — really just pick up the pace and get this thing finished before we all graduate.”

The group presented the new foot to Alex and his family on Wednesday.

“They made the ankle in it so it can move more,” Alex Morgan said. “And they made the toe so it could actually bend.”

Smith said, “This is our third meeting this semester with an actual foot to try on. The first one, we had some pretty major areas that we needed improvement on. The second one, for the most part, worked but we had some parts where we need machines, so to come here and have no issues with it whatsoever, it’s incredible.”

Alex said his dream is to play baseball at Harrison High School.

“He’s played several, and still does, play several sports. So, it hasn’t held him back any,” said Carrie Morgan.

The new foot will take some getting used to but Carrie said they plan to slowly work it into to Alex’s regime.

Carrie said they are thinking the new prosthetic leg will be a hit.

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