(ED NOTE: If one doubted the beneficial effects of the internet on Medicine, one need look no further than the Google Community of “e-Nable“.  This is a free, open-source, no admission Google Community, which crowdsources mechanical, engineering and other skills to build low cost 3d printed Prosthetic Hands.  To get to this fantastic community, go HERE)


A 3-year-old Maui boy with a birth defect is one step closer to being a real-life “Iron Man” thanks to a 3D-printed prosthetic , KHON 2 News reported.

Rayven Kahae, or “Bubba” as his family calls him, was born with amniotic band syndrome (ABS). The condition causes fiber-like bands to form in the amniotic sac that can wrap around parts of the baby’s body, reducing blood supply and restricting normal growth, according to the National Institutes of Health. The severity of ABS can vary from affecting one finger or toe to an entire arm or leg.

Bubba always knew he was different, but he thrived despite his disability, according to his grandmother, Rulan Waikiki.

“He knew from earlier on when he could notice that his sister had two hands and he didn’t — that he always said he doesn’t like that hand he wanted one like [his sister],” Waikiki said.

Commercially made prosthetics used to cost up to $40,000 – but that changed when 3D-printing technology became available for patients like Bubba.

Earlier this year, Waikiki happened upon a website for the nonprofit  group, E-Nable, which operates off donations and volunteers to provide 3D-printed prosthetics for patients at no cost.

Last week, Bubba was one of those patients. His family captured his excitement on camera when his 3D-printed prosthetic hand arrived in the mail.

“He wanted an ‘Iron Man hand,’” Waikiki said. “As soon as he put it on and was able to close the hand, his face just lit up,” Waikiki said.

Bubba, who will turn four in November, will be refitted for similar prosthetics as he grows.


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