Dec 15, 2016 | By Benedict
Cameron Haight, a four-year-old North Carolina resident born with the fingers on his right hand fused together, has helped to make nine 3D printed prosthetic hands for himself and other children with limb differences.
At four years old, most kids spend their time playing with toys, running around, and generally causing havoc for their parents. For Cameron Haight, however, life is a little different. Four-year-old Cameron, who lives Charlotte, North Carolina, was born with amniotic band syndrome, a condition which caused his digits to fuse together while he was in the womb. After more than 15 operations, Cameron was still unable to do certain things with the right hand due to its lack of dexterity. However, upon being fitted with a 3D printed hand six months ago, the youngster was soon able to take part in a wealth of new activities.
According to Cameron’s mum, Sarah, the precocious four-year-old was determined to get a 3D printed hand so that he could ride a bike properly. And when he finally received the prosthesis, a change washed over him: Sarah noticed that the young boy completely came out of his shell, showing off his cool new hand to his friends instead of hiding his fused fingers beneath his clothes. But enjoyment of his newfound abilities didn’t prevent Cameron from reflecting thoughtfully on his situation, and not long after he had perfected the art of cycling, the enthusiastic youth had a new mission…
In a move that belies his young age, Cameron decided that he wanted to help create 3D printed hands of his own, so that other kids in his situation would be able to enjoy the same experiences he himself was able to have. After mum Sarah initially started printing extra hands for Cameron when the first one got damaged, the youngster became keen to get involved in the making process—but to create hands for other kids. According to Sarah, Cameron is a natural when it comes to 3D printing: “He’s only four years old, but he’s gotten really good at it,” she told the Daily Mail. “He goes on the printer, finds the files, sizes, scales, and prints them, then we assemble them—it’s really fun to watch him in action!”
According to Sarah, printing each 3D printed prosthetic hand takes between six and 12 hours—a long time to us, but it often doesn’t seem so for Cameron, who will sometimes sit and watch the entire printing process. Each new hand is clearly an exciting prospect for Cameron, but his story began with the first 3D printed hand of his own, provided by volunteers at 3D printed prosthesis organization e-NABLE. After searching around online, Sarah contacted the global organization, whose simple 3D printable hands can be made for around $25, and a volunteer was soon able to create a Finding Nemo-inspired orange and blue hand for young Cameron.
Cameron’s first hand enabled him to take part in all sorts of new activities, such as riding a bike, holding a water pistol, and putting up the Christmas decorations with his dad. These activities inspired the youngster to pass on his happiness to others by getting involved with the 3D printing himself, even taking steps to ensure that each young recipient of a 3D printed prosthesis is totally satisfied with their new hand: “Whenever we’re printing parts for other children he’s constantly asking whether it’s for a boy or a girl, what color they want, and really enjoys it all,” Sarah explained. “Then when we take the prosthetics to a limb difference meeting, he explains how to use them to all the kids and gets excited showing them how the mechanism works.”
At four years old, Cameron is surely one of the youngest people in the world taking part in the 3D printing of prostheses for limb-different children, something that nonprofit organization e-NABLE has recognized and applauded. “Cameron is one of the youngest I have seen who is doing this with a parent and gifting them to other children,” commented Jen Owen, an e-NABLE community volunteer. “When they are done assembling it, they have not just made a fun project that will sit on the shelf or in the toy box, but something that can actually help another person who might need some assistance with activities that are easier to do with two hands that grip.”
Seeing Cameron getting to grips with 3D printing is a source of huge pride for Sarah, though she ultimately gains the most satisfaction from witnessing her son doing selfless things for other people. “Knowing my little boy is now making hands that are changing other people’s lives, just like they did with his, is just incredible,” she said.
Source: Daily Mail
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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