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Fashioned as an old-school football helmet, little boy’s headgear draws many smiles

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- You see them on the road every day. Now, the features of a "tricked-out" pickup truck are being used to brighten the life of a sick child in need. Think of them as “helmets with heart.”

Albert Burke says he didn't know what to think, hearing doctors diagnose his 10-month-old son with Torticollis. That condition requires little Benjamin Cooper Burke to wear a protective helmet for a few months.

Torticollis means "twisted neck." Doctors say the muscles in Benjamin's neck weren't strong enough to support his head, and resting on one side left a flat spot on his skull. Albert and his wife, Kellie, who hail from Tonganoxie, Kan., shelled out almost $2,000 for a protective helmet for little "Coop," but the boring white design left them seeking something fun for the baby.

Chux Trux, the Independence-based car accessories store, used a vinyl wrap to turn Coop's headgear into an old-school leather football helmet.

“The design crew just jumped right at it. I don't know if they understand the word no,” Albert Burke said. “They said not to worry about it. We're going to take care of this.”

"Coop" won't need the helmet his entire life. Doctors say four months should be enough to correct the flat spot on his skull.

“It was nice to have a little uniqueness for our son,” Albert Burke said. “Four months is a long time to go with a helmet. He's required to wear it 23-and-a-half hours per day.”

“Coop's” father says the design is getting a lot of smiles.

Kevin Ogden says that's what he hoped for. He's the assistant manager of Chux Trux, and says it's fun to see what a vinyl wrap can do for a family with big concerns.

“They've been through enough, so we did them for free,” Ogden said. “Now, when people see it, they're not asking why. They're saying, 'That's awesome’.”

The store's owner tells FOX 4 News he's wrapped helmets for other children in need, and he'd gladly do it again. You can find contact information for Chux Trux in Independence by following this link.

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