When Riley Baird was in kindergarten, he was hospitalized for three days. He remembers the children’s unit in the hospital having toys, but they were fairly mundane and not in the best condition.
Fast forward to Riley’s senior year of high school determining his Eagle Scout project.
“I decided to make a Connect 4 game for the hospital I was in. The hospital said my idea would not be ideal because their child patients aren’t in the hospital for more than a day. They then referred me to the hospital in Herrin, Illinois,” explained Riley.
That hospital is the new SIH Outpatient Rehabilitation center in Herrin, Illinois, that opened this summer. According to the hospital’s website, the hospital treats Autism, Cerebral Palsy, developmental delay, fine motor deficits, neuromuscular disorders, orthopedic injuries and Torticollis.
Riley’s Connect 4 is “just like the board game itself, but life-sized.”
Construction of the Connect 4 allowed Riley to complete his Eagle Scout Project; but, more importantly, is now an active part of the hospital’s pediatric therapy room helping children reach milestones, and having fun while completing therapy.
WSIL television station in Harrisburg, IL named Riley one of their weekly Unsung Heroes for his Eagle Scout project.
Above: Notre Dame senior Riley Baird with a patient at SIH Outpatient Rehabilitation center in Herrin, IL.