Hayden Hensley is just like every other kid in his class. His mom Johanna brags that he’s on the A/B honor roll. His classmate Averie calls him “funny”. And his good friend Carson says he’s fun and loves everyone around him.
The thing is, Hayden is also unlike every other kid in his classroom.
Hayden has Spina Bifida and has issues with his immune system. Last fall he got pneumonia twice. He had to miss a lot of school.
And that’s when Wally — a robot — stepped in.
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When Hayden can't be in school, Wally is there for him.
Wally works just like Hayden; raising his hand when he has a question. Hayden pushes a button and Wally lights up.
Hayden’s mom, Johanna Hensley was initially concerned when he had to stay home. After Wally came into the picture, she was relieved.
“His immune system was really shot, and so for Hayden to get his needs met through the robot was crucial," said Johanna.
The thing is, Hayden's feeling better, so plans are in the works to say goodbye to Wally.
Hayden has mixed feelings. “I kind of like the robot, but I'd rather be here."
And on that topic Hayden and his classmates are on the same page.
When Carson Stiglets was asked if he’d miss the robot, he said, "Sort of, but I like Hayden a lot more than the robot."
And Hayden’s teacher Mrs. Nelson echoed that emotion. “It's been such a cool experience, but we've been counting down the days until we can say goodbye! And Welcome back Hayden."