Man Custom-Builds Tiny Wheelchair for Goldfish with Swim Bladder Disorder

Goldfish Wheelchair inspiring stories pets animals

When Derek, a 20-year-old pet store employee, was presented with a customer's unwell goldfish, he made it his mission to help the little creature out.

The fish was suffering from an incurable issue with its swim bladder. The swim bladder is the organ that enables fish to control their buoyancy and stay afloat. Due to its disorder, the poor fish was unable to swim or hold itself upright, so it was often stuck lingering along the bottom of the tank. Derek, however, had an ingenious idea: he would build a tiny, goldfish wheelchair. Using nothing but a piece of aquarium tubing, some weights, extra valving, and a piece of styrofoam, he fashioned the innovative and effective aid. The tubing—which he wrapped around the fish—helped with buoyancy, the valving acted as a little seat for the fish, and, finally, the styrofoam and weights kept the little guy right-side-up.

After he engineered the underwater wheelchair, Derek showed it to his fellow animal-loving friend, Taylor. “A customer brought in a goldfish with a permanent swim bladder disorder so I made him a custom wheelchair and he loves it,” he wrote in a text message. Unsurprisingly, Taylor was amazed by Derek's compassion and creativity. She shared a screenshot of his message on Twitter, and results have been overwhelmingly positive.

People have been equally in awe of Derek's overwhelming kindness and his unconventional invention. “I’ve worked with several injured fish but him going out of his way to help this fish was just precious,” Taylor told Buzzfeed, “To people who aren’t well-practiced in the aquarium hobby, they’d never imagine to see a fish in a wheelchair!”

True, but we're glad we have!

A 20-year-old pet store employee named Derek made a tiny goldfish wheelchair to help a little finned friend who was having swimming issues due to a bladder disorder.

Goldfish Wheelchair inspiring stories pets animals

He even upgraded the flotation device by replacing the tubing  with mesh and attaching it to the styrofoam with velcro.

Goldfish Wheelchair inspiring stories pets animals

Goldfish Wheelchair inspiring stories pets animals

h/t: [Buzzfeed]

All images via Taylor Dean.

Kelly Richman-Abdou

Kelly Richman-Abdou is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. An art historian living in Paris, Kelly was born and raised in San Francisco and holds a BA in Art History from the University of San Francisco and an MA in Art and Museum Studies from Georgetown University. When she’s not writing, you can find Kelly wandering around Paris, whether she’s leading a tour (as a guide, she has been interviewed by BBC World News America and France 24) or simply taking a stroll with her husband and two tiny daughters.
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