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Westchester engineer creates special toys for kids in hospital

Posted: 6:18 PM, Jan 30, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-30 18:19:31-05

WESTCHESTER — A real life MacGyver is taking over Blythedale Children's Hospital in Valhalla, in Westchester County, making sure sick children have hands on devices that are customized to their disabilities.

Three years ago, Andres Guerrero, 27, left his native Ecuador for America, determined to make a difference.

"Being involved in the medical area, I feel like that's the place I can make a huge impact, changing one life at a time," said Guerrero.

His journey began at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he received a Master of Science in Engineering.

Earning this degree solidified his passion to help others, specifically youngsters with extreme physical and developmental disabilities.

He began working at Blythedale in August. Julie Knitter is the Director of Assistive Technology at Blythedale.

She says Guerrero's known as "MacGyver," because of his ability to create custom devices and toys for medically complex kids.

"It allows them to engage in the world, to interact with their families to participate in school and social life in ways they couldn't before," said Knitter.

There are only a handful rehab engineers throughout the country, meaning his work at Blythedale is a rare opportunity to help unlock the potential in kids.

"Just to be able to communicate through devices, that's huge for them, they're not just sitting there all day they can actually interact," said Guerrero.

Guerrero said his work is a fulfilling opportunity for him to live an American Dream.