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New technology allows Worthington student to go to school via robot

Fourth grader Jacob Haldeman loves school but can't walk the hallways. A mysterious illness has affected Jacob's respiratory system which led to collapsed lungs in December 2015. Doctors have determined he may need a double-lung transplant. Ashleigh and John Haldeman are both TWHS grads and live in Worthington. The family is planning to travel to Texas Children's Hospital in Houston to get a second opinion. But if no additional information is found, he will need to have the lung transplant. Throughout last year, Jacob has attempted to continue his learning at Worthington Estates Elementary, frequently missing school due to illness.

This school year, the family and doctors thought it would be best if Jacob was tutored at home to avoid any future illnesses. As it would be for any child, this was difficult for Jacob because he was not able to see his friends, interact with his teachers and peers, or leave the house. One of his classmates, Mary Darling, was telling her dad how sad she was for Jacob. Little did she know that her dad would be able to help. Bill Darling, through his work at Assistive Technology of Ohio at Ohio State University, worked with Jacob, the school and the family to teach him how to use new Double Robotics technology that would allow him to attend school via his very own robot.

Jacob can now attend class two hours a day with his robot, but he can also interact with his classmates and teacher and even travel throughout the school! This has had a huge impact on his mental health and will allow him to keep learning while being healthy and strong as he awaits his surgery.  Jacob is a true example of #WorthingtonStrong, and the support of the community continues to be very much appreciated by the family!

On February 16th, Jacob was an honorary captain at the TWHS v. WKHS basketball game.

Learn more about his story at the family's Facebook page and You Caring page. 

 Photo of Jacob