High schoolers make prosthetic hand for girl

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April 29, 2014 4:07:36 PM PDT
some creative high schoolers have come to the aid of nine-year-old Kylie Wicker. She was born without fingers on her left hand.

So they've created a prosthetic hand for her with the 3-D printer in their engineering class.

Although she keeps a smile on her face there are times that Kylie breaks down. "She has always been pretty positive about it, but lately when she was breaking down, it was kind of hard." said Jeromy Wicker, Kylie's Father.

That is all about to change, thanks to students at Boylan High School.

Staff received an email from Kylie's dad last month, asking the school to help in the process of making an affordable prosthetic hand through the schools 3-D printer.

"He had seen online that you could make a 3D printout of the fingers on a plastic printer, and he knew we had one" said Bud May, the teacher of the Engineering Graphics class at Boylan High School.

The prosthetic hand works through the movement in Kylie's wrist, and the flexible cords that are inside of the device make her fingers stand outwards and when Kylie bends her wrist forward, the length gets longer, and the cables force the hand to grasp and close.

In just a few days, Kylie can wear the prosthetic device, and she said she could not be more thrilled. "It's coming really fast, because I'm going to get it on Friday, and it's really exciting."

Normally, a prosthetic hand could cost thousands of dollars, Kylie's mother said that doctors and medical professionals say the price for devices like this is steep

"$The price is usually around $20,000 up to $50,000, and then you have to take in the fact that she is only nine years old, and the way she grows, she will grow out of them" said Sharon Wicker, Kylie's mom.

Although many have to pay big bucks for a device like Kylie's, you will not believe how much the 3D printed hand at Boylan costs. "The total cost of this hand will be barely $5.00, there is maybe $1.00 worth of plastic, and it costs a couple of bucks for the fasteners." Said May

Although the cost is cheap, the impact is priceless. "There is a lot of things that have gone through my mind that she can do now, that she can accomplish a lot easier with her new hand." said Kylie's mother, Sharon Wicker.

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