WVU students help create life-changing device for Pennsylvania boy

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - West Virginia University occupational therapy students recently developed a device for a 10-year-old boy from Pennsylvania, who has difficulty using his arms and hands.

The video of him using this got hundreds of retweets and thousands of likes on Twitter.

Eli Holp doesn't let this disability stop him from doing the things he loves. He was born with the disability that limits the use of his hands and arms.

"He has just learned to do things his own way ever since," said Eli's mom, Jessilyn Holp. "He didn't crawl but he scooted and then he learned how to stand up and he's learned how to feed himself."

With the help of these students, they're helping to make Eli's daily routines a little simpler -- such as eating.

"It has been really fun for the students to follow his mom on Instagram and Twitter and they're keeping up with him almost on a daily basis now, and really getting to see the long-term benefits of working with him," said SueAnn Woods, a professor in occupational therapy at WVU. "

Like his mom said, he has taught himself to do things his own way, such as playing the drums. He has gotten there through support from his family and even reminding himself that he can do everything everyone else can.

"He overcomes every challenge that we find," Jessilyn said. "He overcomes everything and it's with the help of all the people we've met along the journey."

The student in WVU's occupational therapy program has been like family to Eli and his parents, and they've given them the opportunity to apply their skills and ideas.

"It's really exciting to be working with students so that during their careers and in their careers, they're going to be able to help that new family someday," said Eli's father, Michael.

"We follow his mom on Twitter and Instagram so that's a lot of fun to see the progression that he's making with what we've done to help him and kind of sparks our brains on what to do for the future and how else we could help him," said Andria Ormsby, a senior at WVU.

None of this will stop Eli from not only standing strong, but it won't stop him from the most important thing.

"Nothing is impossible," Eli said. "I can do everything you can.:

"It's not just mom and dad cheering him on," Jessilyn said. "He truly believes in himself."