If one asked Paulding resident Roger Leggett the inspiration behind his invention of an IV pole that attaches to the hallway carts used to take children to medical treatments at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta hospitals, he immediately utters two names — his 10-year-old granddaughter, Felicity Withrow, and his late son Chad, Felicity’s uncle.
When Felicity was 6 years old, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and immediately went into surgery.
Shortly thereafter, Leggett and his son were visiting Felicity in the hospital when they saw a parent wheeling her child in a cart and holding the child’s IV as she attempted to enter an elevator.
“She was having such a difficult time that the IV almost fell onto the child,” Leggett said.
He and his son immediately saw the need for a device that would attach to the cart and hold the IV for easier maneuverability.
Felicity had successful brain surgery and was released from the hospital in June 2011.
However, within weeks of her release, Chad, who was only 24, died of heat stroke while alone in the woods, Leggett said.
His father found him at one of the pair’s favorite hunting sites.
“We went from the joy of having Felicity survive brain surgery and coming home from the hospital to Chad dying unexpectedly, both in the same month,” Leggett said.
“Chad is the one that got me to investigate creating this IV pole attachment. What better legacy can one leave than helping invent a device designed to help children who are fighting, in many cases, life-threatening conditions?”
Leggett, an expediter at Lockheed Martin, recently donated a prototype of the IV pole and cart to Children’s Healthcare at Scottish Rite hospital.
The dedication plaque on the prototype read, “Donated by Beulah Masonic Lodge 698, Dallas, Georgia, in honor of Felicity Withrow and in memory of Chad Leggett.”
Although Leggett said he can not thank the people enough who helped him move forward in inventing and perfecting the IV pole device, it was Chad’s memory that, many times, kept him going.
Leggett, who was a firefighter for many years, said Chad, an emergency medical technician at the time of his death, always wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps.
“Chad was not only the inspiration for this invention but he always inspired me as his father,” Leggett said.