In the city of Valparaiso, Chile, another young superhero in training has emerged, thanks to a multidisciplinary team of 4 e-NABLE volunteers, which includes two occupational therapists as well as a civil engineer and an electrical engineer based out of Santiago.
Anthonny is the youngest of 3 older brothers and a happy, healthy 4 year old who loves Spiderman. His limb difference went unnoticed until the time of his birth when his parents discovered that he was missing 2/3 of his left forearm.
From a very young age, Anthonny has been in the care of the wonderful staff at Teleton, who were able to provide him with comprehensive care to help improve the functionality of his arm, gain independence and create 2 traditional hook prosthetic devices for him to use.
While grateful for these devices, Anthonny’s parents started researching other options for their son and learned about enablingthefuture.org and 3D printed assistive devices being created by the e-NABLE Community. They reached out to Fácil 3D, a 3D printer company in Chile, who in turn connected the family to our volunteers at Prohand3D who agreed to make the device for Anthonny.
Francisco Nilo, one of the 4 e-NABLE volunteers who worked on the arm for Anthony writes, “I was introduced to the e-NABLE Community after hearing an interview from Cyborg Beast designer, Dr. Jorge Zuniga from Creighton University and joined the e-NABLE Community about a year ago.
My team, Jana Smith, Martin Racana, José Melia and I contacted Anthony’s family, days before Christmas to tell them that we were going to print a 3D printed arm for them. The happiness and gratitude expressed by the family…it was the perfect Christmas gift!”
Anthonny’s devices would turn out to be challenging work, not only because it was their first time creating the 3D printed arm, but also because the family lives 2 hours from Santiago where the team lives and works.
The Prohand3D team relied on the cooperation and help of Anthonny’s mother to take measurements for them and decided that the best design for him would be the Team Unlimbited arm.
They share, “From there, we divided the process into two parts: a trial period and then the final preparation of his custom device.
Once we printed the trial arm, the first session of preparation was performed with Anthonny where we were presented with some problems due to his forearm being very small and lacking enough elbow flexation but fortunately, we were able to solve this by incorporating the adaption of a thermoplastic cast.
After a week of testing, the family returned to make some changes. Once assured that the 3D printed device worked for Anthonny and were assured that his family was satisfied with the progress, we began to manufacture the final device for him.
Anthonny’s favorite superhero is Spiderman and we were able to connect with a very talented local tattoo artist and illustrator named Cesar Castillo who was able to paint the arm and make it very special for him!”
“His mom shared with us that since Anthonny received his Spiderman arm, he uses it all the time, even for sleeping!” says Francisco, “We know no one uses these devices all day long, but perhaps the superhero design has influenced him just a bit!”
In Chile, and many of the South American countries, it is very difficult to find access to good, quality 3D printers and plastic filament and materials are very hard to source, as well as expensive to obtain.
Looking forward, Prohand3D hopes that other South American e-NABLE Volunteers, may want to work together with them to create a chapter and a team to share their needs between themselves and help one another in other collaborative ways.
They hope to help many more people in Chile gain access to 3D printed assistive devices. If you are in Chile and you are in need of assistance, please connect with Prohand3D and the e-NABLE Chile team through their facebook page HERE.