Stratasys released a heart-melting case study on how 3D printing changed the life of 4-year old Emma Lavelle, by allowing her to use her hands the first time in her life. The researchers at Alfred I. duPont Hospital Children hospital created a custom robotic exoskeleton that enables Emma, who suffers from congenial disorder, to overcome limited joint mobility and underdeveloped muscles.
Emma was born with the condition called arthrogryposis multiplex congenital (AMC) and could only move her thumb, but through a fast surgery the doctors were able to get her legs working. She developed slower than her peers and was unable to play and interact normally with her environment.
Then her mother Mega Lavelle was introduced to Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton (WREX) and everything changed. The researchers Tariq Lahman and Whitney Sample had worked for years to bring the technology available for younger and younger kids, but Emma was only age of two at that time.
Along with 3D printing technology Rahman and Sample were able to scale the WREX down in size and weight and create it durable enough for Emma to wear it outside the workshop and finally take it home, preschool. She has named them her “magic arms”.
Emma’s story will be remembered and hopefully pushed the industry forward in order to use the technology to overcome other disabilities. Watch Emma’s video below: