Summit High student invents wetsuit to save lives

Bailey Delanty plans to patent her idea

By Megan Kehoe / The Bulletin


Published Jan 15, 2014 at 12:01AM / Updated Jan 15, 2014 at 01:43PM

Educational news and activities, and local kids and their achievements.

• School Notes and submission info, B5

Bailey Delanty hardly ever raises her hand in class.

She’s quiet, shy, and rarely offers her teachers or classmates insights into what she’s thinking.

But as recently became clear to everyone at her school, Bailey has plenty of insight.

Bailey, a Summit High School junior, recently won top prize at Bend Research’s annual Central Oregon-wide Inventerprise contest for an invention that helps surfers and divers prepare for the worst.

“It was kind of embarrassing to win,”said Bailey, 16. “I’m usually a behind-the-scenes person, so it was kind of shocking to get recognized like this.”

Nicknamed by her friends and family “Google” because of her vast knowledge of facts, Bailey came up with the concept after being inspired by the many shark movies and documentaries she likes to watch with her mom. In particular, Bailey was inspired by one story of a surfer who was attacked by a shark and died shortly thereafter from blood loss, despite receiving medical attention back on shore. When Bailey was charged with the task of coming up with an invention for the contest for a class project, she already had an idea in the bank.

“My thought was that if you could just build something into the wet suit that would stop the bleeding, then that might help save somebody if they’re attacked by a shark,” Bailey said. “I knew that it would have to be built into the suit though, because people probably wouldn’t want to bring a whole first aid kit with them.”

Called the Tourni-Suit, Bailey’s invention is simple yet intelligent. With the knowledge that most shark-attack victims die from massive blood loss from ruptured arteries, Bailey designed a wet suit with four ready-to-use tourniquets located at the upper arms and legs. With a simple tug, the tourniquets can be tightened by the surfer or diver, which helps to restrict blood flow while the shark attack victim gets to shore and seeks medical attention.

Bailey said she knew she had a good idea, but she didn’t think it was good enough to beat out hundreds of other Central Oregon students entering the Inventerprise contest. Bailey hadn’t entered the annual contest before and only did it because it was a mandatory assignment in her science class.

“She had tremendous vision, which was apparent by looking at her poster board,” said Bailey’s teacher, Jason Colquhoun. “She thought of a lot of different angles, and she was able to tie in human anatomy. She really took the idea and went deep with it.”

Bailey won the top prize of $500, part of which she spent on books. She also received schoolwide recognition, which given her shy nature was slightly embarrassing.

“Winning was actually one of the hardest things,” Bailey said. “I’m normally a really shy person. I don’t like being outside of my comfort zone usually. But this taught me that there are some benefits to going outside. It can be really rewarding.”

“The contest does a good job of recognizing kids whose good work might sometimes go unnoticed,” Colquhoun said.

Bailey also said the win gave her a confidence boost to continue pursuing her plans to go into medicine one day. Bailey dreams of becoming an emergency room doctor, saying that she’d like to be able to help people in their absolute worst moments. Bailey’s already gotten a head start on her planned course of study, reinvesting her winnings in medical textbooks she’s been reading in her spare time.

As for the Inventerprise contest, the $500 in winnings isn’t where the Tourni-Suit ends. Bailey and her family are currently consulting a lawyer to possibly get the design patented.

“I’d like to just give these (Tourni-Suits) out to surfers and divers,” Bailey said. “Even if it just saved one life, it would be worth it.”

— Reporter; 541-383-0354, mkehoe@bendbulletin.com