Students at Brenham High School have, literally, given a hand to a two-year-old boy named Kaedon, The San Francisco Globe reports. Kaedon suffers from amniotic band syndrome, a syndrome caused by a fetus becoming entangled in fibrous string-like amniotic bands in the womb. As a result of this syndrome, Kaedon was born with his right hand not fully formed. When Kaedon’s mother, Jeannette Olson, heard that the local high school had a 3D printer, she decided to see if they could help her child.
According to Trenton Hall, a teacher at Brenham, the students have previously used their $1,500 Afinia 3D printer to make things like bracelets and phone cases, but the idea of 3D printing a prosthesis was something new. So, the CS students found a design on the internet that would be suitable for their purposes.
The hand has been fitted on Kaedon, and seems to be working out well. The hand responds to movements of Kaedon’s wrist and is capable of clutching objects. The day after Kaedon had been fitted with the hand “he instinctively reached out and picked up a snack time cup.”
Teary-eyed, Kaedon’s mother describes her joy at seeing her child use and embrace his new prosthetic limb. She talks about the many possibilities that this technology will allow her child in the future. And the students at Brenham describe how this project impacted them. “It’s not every day you get to build a hand for a little boy that will change his life,” says one of the students.
As Kaedon grows, he will need to replace his prosthetic hand and Brenham High School has committed to making this project into a long term solution, with students at Brenham continuing to provide new prosthetics as Kaedon needs them.