A charity in the UK is helping children with limb deformities feel whole again.
An amazing team of innovators in the U.K. is making it possible for children born without arms, hands, or fingers to peel wrapping paper off a present, hold their water cup, pick up a toy and move it from one place to another … to feel like they can finally do what everyone else around them can do, and with a flair and style all their own.
Team UnLimbited, a two-person volunteer team of Drew Murray and Stephen Davies, uses a 3D printer housed in an 8 ft x 6 ft shed in Davies’ backyard to design and build plastic prosthetic arms for children whose limbs did not fully form at birth.
The best part is: children help design the arms — in their choice of color, theme, and design.
Not surprisingly, many of the arms come out pink, blue, rainbow colored … looking fun and modern like something the Avengers might wear, as opposed to the heavy, meta “medieval torture devices” that Davies himself was given as a child. Davies was born without a left forearm and hand, and his frustration with modern prosthetics and the exorbitant cost of high-tech bionic ones (upwards of $100,000 in some cases) was the inspiration for the project.
Rather than relegate children with these birth defects to the background, Murray and Davies’ arms are designed “to stand out and show off a child’s personality,” Davies said in an interview with The Sunday Post.
The arms are lightweight, cool, comfortable, easy to put on, and best of all affordable (about $30 each, mostly paid for through donations), so that children can easily upgrade to a bigger arm as they outgrow their current one, with the ease of getting a new pair of shoes.
Currently, Team UnLimbited only supplies arms to children in the U.K., but the designs are available to anyone anywhere to take and replicate for non-commercial purposes directly on their website.
Their website is filled with videos of children whose lives they have changed through their simple but genius gesture, like Isabella, below. The first part of the video shows a description of the arm and how it’s made — then you can watch the joy that happens when a child receives and uses her brand new arm for the very first time: