Magic Arms for a Special Four Year Old

Thursday, August 9th, 2012 by from Buzzworthy Bulletins

Magic Arms for a Special Four Year Old Picture

I’ve stepped on my fair share of hard plastic toys. That moment when the incredibly durable plastic digs painfully into the bottom of my foot is usually cause for cursing and possibly crying. Now I’m in tears over that plastic for a different reason, and her name is Emma

An adorable four year old, Emma was born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, a condition that affects her joints and muscles, and causes her arms to be extremely weak. So weak that she could barely lift them on her own. In cases like hers, there are prosthetics that can be used to assist in movement, allowing for a greater range of motion. Unfortunately, the size and weight of those prosthetics don’t make them easily manageable, especially for a tiny little girl.

Those working with Emma were inspired to try new technology to better meet her needs. They discovered that they could use a 3-D printer “to create a special harness and fittings out of strong ABS plastic (the same used in LEGO bricks).” The prosthetic was designed, then the various pieces are printed out as plastic parts, to be attached together to form the framework. If a piece breaks, the creator can simply print out a replacement part.

The potential usage for technology like this is amazing, but I’m just as amazed by the story of this one little girl. Watching the video of her as she plays happily, using her “magical arms,” I’m so grateful that these kinds of developments are possible. I’ll never look at those little pieces of plastic the same way again. 

What do you think? Magic Arms for a Special Four Year Old

Sara McTigue, CLCEditor

Sara McTigue is a secret agent, cupcake chef, award winning author, photographer, and PTA mom. At least, that is how things look in her mind. When she isn’t testing the bounds of her imagination, she is a mom to three amazing and hilariously funny children, wife to a charming and handsome man, and thoroughly addicted to reading. With a BS in English Education and an MA in English Literature, words – and their ability to shape our lives and thoughts – are an everyday fascination. Af ... More

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10 comments

  1. Avatar of misslissy misslissy says:

    Wow this is really cool!

  2. Avatar of Mom2two12 Mom2two12 says:

    Wow what an amazing story this made me cry.

  3. Avatar of Kim ShannonEditor Kim Shannon says:

    What a great story!!!!! I’m so glad I read this!

  4. Avatar of Chelsea Chelsea says:

    This Sweet Little Girl is an inspiration!!!!!!

  5. Avatar of Zenobiasmom Zenobiasmom says:

    wow, I never thought that was possible. I will never curse at that plastic again :)

  6. Avatar of megan megan says:

    what an amazing story. such a strong little girl, very inspiring.

  7. Avatar of Dianna Dianna says:

    Wow, I never thought of it that way. It’s amazing the technology we have created, and it’s great that we are using it for something as important as this.

  8. Avatar of Dianna Dianna says:

    Wow, I never thought of it that way. It’s amazing the technology we have created, and it’s great that we are using it for something as important as this.

  9. Avatar of nydia rivera nydia rivera says:

    Same here, we always complain about the small stuff! And people have real problems.

  10. Avatar of Becca Becca says:

    This brought tears to my eyes! And to think, we all complain about minor aches and pains and look at the courage this little girl has! I am amazed.

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