Trinidad: 5-year-old scratch bomb victim gets prosthetic hand

Joshua Rufus plays with an “Iron Man” prosthetic hand at Qualitech Machining Services Ltd in Point Lisas where local engineers will build him a 3D printed prosthetic arm in the coming weeks.

(Trinidad Guardian) Five-year-old Joshua Ru­fus is lit­er­al­ly get­ting a help­ing hand from a Point Lisas-based en­gi­neer­ing com­pa­ny.

Joshua lost part of his right hand three years ago when he in­no­cent­ly placed a scratch bomb in­to a light­ed deya dur­ing Di­vali cel­e­bra­tions at his par­ent’s Debe Trace, Debe home. The ex­plo­sion scarred him for life.

Two weeks ago, Guardian Me­dia high­light­ed Joshua’s sto­ry and it touched Deo N Lall, the founder of Qualitech Ma­chin­ing Ser­vices Ltd, who is of­fer­ing to as­sist the child with a 3D-print­ed pros­thet­ic hand.

Joshua has learned to adapt to his dis­abil­i­ty, learn­ing to write with his left hand. He is able to dress him­self and do most ba­sic tasks that any child his age can do.

Lall said his com­pa­ny had been ex­per­i­ment­ing with a 3D print­er to make ar­ti­fi­cial limbs.

“We be­lieve we may be in a po­si­tion to as­sist Joshua in a very small, but ben­e­fi­cial way, by fit­ting him with such a limb to as­sist him in his every­day tasks. It will, of course, be done at no cost to him,” Lall stat­ed.

When Joshua’s fa­ther, Mar­cus Ru­fus was told of the com­pa­ny’s of­fer, he was ec­sta­t­ic.

“This is such great news, Joshua will be so hap­py,” Ru­fus said.

Dur­ing a vis­it to the com­pa­ny, Joshua was al­lowed to play and in­ter­act with 3D items, in­clud­ing a repli­ca of the Mar­vel su­per­hero Iron Man hand.

“He was so ex­cit­ed by the items they al­lowed him to play with every­thing. When he got home, he told his old­er broth­er, “Broth­er, I’m go­ing to be a trans­former,” Ru­fus said.

Ru­fus said the doc­tors at the San Fer­nan­do Gen­er­al Hos­pi­tal where Joshua was ward­ed for al­most three months fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent had dis­cussed the pos­si­bil­i­ty of fit­ting the child with a pros­thet­ic limb but a de­ci­sion had been tak­en to wait un­til Joshua is sig­nif­i­cant­ly old­er so he does not quick­ly out­grow the tra­di­tion­al pros­thet­ic, which is very ex­pen­sive to man­u­fac­ture.

In an in­ter­view, an­oth­er com­pa­ny of­fi­cial, Deep­ak Lall, said he is hope­ful that Joshua’s pros­thet­ic can be made be­fore Christ­mas Day.

“We have two op­tions, we can ei­ther scan his hand which will take about ten min­utes and build the pros­thet­ic from that or use a cast­ing mould and build it that way. I or­dered a cast­ing mould on­line be­cause I was search­ing for one lo­cal­ly and could not find it but if the time starts run­ning out, we may opt to do the scan and build it like that,” he said.

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