AT-AT Walker Helps Kid Heal From Leg Surgery

By Nick Venable | Published

Being a parent is often its own highly rewarding experience, and even when unfortunate things happen, there are always unexpected instances of positivity that might not have occurred had the child not been a part of your life. Does that make any sense? All I mean is you go above and beyond for a child, because they haven’t turned into a shitty adult yet.

For a wonderful example, Portland-based photographer Stephanie Kaloi has a four-year-old son who had surgery on both of his legs and was sent home with knee immobilizers and a walker, both of which equated to pain inside his head. Stephanie and her husband Jeff happen to be friends with comic artist Ben Dewey, who transformed the walker into an AT-AT walker from the Star Wars universe, based on the observation that the walker sort of looked like one. See, my friends would have just gotten drunk and passed out on top of it.

Stephanie sums up her appreciation below, and really shines a light on the power of imagination in the non-cynical youth.

To say this is above and beyond any expectations we had is an understatement: this thing is incredible. Dude loves being able to call Darth Vader (his favorite character) for instructions, and has mastered the sound of a laser being fired. More importantly, the goal was accomplished: our son happily walked all around our living room firing lasers at us for nearly an hour without once being scared that the walker would cause him pain. He’ll need the walker for another three weeks, and having him happy to use it is a huge leap forward for his recovery.

Kudos to all involved. It’s definitely cooler than AT-AT bikes, and it inspires me to do something nice for my daughter, instead of just putting her and a Princess Leia doll inside a giant trash compacter and seeing if they can escape.

Two more things. A friend of theirs posted a story about it on Reddit, and it got a comment from William Goddamn Shatner!

Finally, the artist Ben Dewey has an amazingly inventive and cleverly hilarious Tumblr account full of illustrations collectively called Tragedy Series. It’s a subdued take on many common aspects of life, and since some of his interests include science and sci-fi, that subject matter creeps into the comic in odd places. Below is a recent example. Everything about this story kicks ass, doesn’t it?