Dad-daughter duo dives into project to prepare pants for people with prosthetics

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Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 2:38 AM EDT
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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - In 1993, Darian Hylton learned a life lesson he never forgot. A seamstress taught him how she would alter jeans or pants with zippers to allow better access for amputees or people using prosthetics.

Though he said he did not retain the skills to do it himself at the time, he has since brushed up and has been doing the same for himself as the Marine veteran now uses a brace for one of his legs.

“A friend of mine, ‘One Eye,’ who is a Marine veteran, was telling me some guys that he knows that wear shorts year-round and he told him that I put zippers and jeans they had never thought of that,” said Darian. “I’ve talked to seamstresses that have never thought of that”

In learning and seeing the need in the community- from veterans to people in car crashes- he started stitching together an idea to share the knowledge with the region he calls home. So, with a desire to teach and a daughter who wanted to learn, that is what he did.

“A lot of teenagers can’t really say, ‘I added some zippers into pants to help someone access their prosthetic device easier,’ and it feels pretty cool,” said his daughter Emma.

Darian taught Emma how to alter jeans, splitting the seam and adding a zipper to help those who need ease of access for their prosthetic equipment.

“I’ve never thought about this before my dad got his brace,” Emma said. “At first, I thought it was a little strange. But then it was like, ‘Oh, this is good. This would be good for many people.”

According to Emma, the project has been eye-opening and she is excited to continue learning and sharpening her sewing skills. In the meantime, the class is opening up to the community.

“I want to show the community- community members and veterans- that, you know, there’s resolutions to problems,” Darian said. “You’ve just got to think about it. Try. That’s all you can do is try.”

Darian said he invites anyone who could benefit from the project to zip over and take some classes for themselves. He said it is a great way to fellowship, while learning how to help someone while also saving money.

Overall, both Hyltons say they just hope the project will raise awareness and remind people there are small things they can do to make a big impact.

“It doesn’t have to be like big donations,” said Emma. “You could just sew some zippers into some pants.”

Darian said he hopes it will encourage others to find ways to thread together something good.

“There’s all kinds of ways to help in the community. I understand this side of what I do,” said Darian. “Maybe somebody out there will see a need in the community and they will reach out and try to help their community.”

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