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Trinidad: Boy who lost hand in scratch bomb accident gets relief for Christmas

By Trinidad Guardian

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Joshua Ru­fus

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — Five-year-old Joshua Ru­fus can now be just like his favourite su­per­hero Iron Man with his Christ­mas gift of a 3D-print­ed pros­thet­ic hand, which will take the place of his right hand which he lost in a scratch bomb ac­ci­dent three years ago.

Joshua was ec­sta­t­ic yes­ter­day when he was fit­ted with the pros­thet­ic hand by Qualitech’s di­rec­tor Deep­ak Lall, just in time for Christ­mas to­day.

The Point Lisas-based en­gi­neer­ing com­pa­ny reached out to Guardian Me­dia sev­er­al weeks ago vol­un­teer­ing to build Joshua a pros­thet­ic limb, af­ter the sto­ry of his los­ing the right hand to a scratch bomb when he was just two was pub­lished.

At that time, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Deo Lall promised to use his com­pa­ny’s 3D-print­ing ma­chine to build a pros­thet­ic hand for the young­ster in time for Christ­mas.

Deo, his son Deep­ak and daugh­ter Prashista Lall kept that promise yes­ter­day at the com­pa­ny’s of­fice.

Joshua sat pa­tient­ly while Deep­ak fit­ted him with the pros­thet­ic as his par­ents, Mar­cus Ru­fus and Mindy Sookram, looked on.

When the pros­thet­ic was se­cured, a vis­i­bly-ex­cit­ed Joshua tried us­ing it to make a fist and to pick up items on the ta­ble in front of him.

Deep­ak ex­plained that the pros­thet­ic was a pro­to­type and its de­sign will be up­dat­ed and mod­i­fied as Joshua learns to use it prop­er­ly.

“At this stage, we want­ed to get it fin­ished in time for Christ­mas, but there will be changes made to it in the com­ing weeks as we will mon­i­tor how he is able to use and im­prove to give him more use,” Deep­ak told the T&T Guardian.

Joshua was most ex­cit­ed to show his hand to his old­er broth­er, eight-year-old An­tho­ny and al­so has some grand plans on how he can put it to use.

“I want to do a hand­stand!” he quipped, prompt­ing laugh­ter from his par­ents and the Lalls.

Deo al­so promised Joshua that when the pros­thet­ic is up­dat­ed in a few weeks’ time it will be done in red and yel­low, to mim­ic Iron Man’s hand.

“When we per­fect the de­sign we will cus­tomise it as well, so he will en­joy us­ing it,” Deo said.

A grate­ful Mar­cus said al­though Joshua has learned to adapt with­out his right hand, he be­lieves the pros­thet­ic will make him stand out in a pos­i­tive way, es­pe­cial­ly among his peers at school.

“Some­times there is a bit of neg­a­tiv­i­ty when chil­dren in­ter­act with him be­cause he is miss­ing a hand. Now that will go from neg­a­tive to a pos­i­tive be­cause I am sure his new hand will at­tract good, pos­i­tive at­ten­tion from the oth­er chil­dren in school,” he said.

Mindy was all smiles as she said it felt won­der­ful know­ing her son could get a “help­ing hand” to get him through as he grows up.

“It will take some time for him to be able to use it prop­er­ly but I am just so hap­py that he can have some­thing to help him along life,” she said.

Doc­tors at the San Fer­nan­do Gen­er­al Hos­pi­tal, where Joshua spent three months fol­low­ing the ac­ci­dent, had told Joshua’s par­ents that he would be fit­ted with a tra­di­tion­al pros­thet­ic hand, which is much more cost­ly than a 3D-print­ed pros­thet­ic, when he grows old­er.

This article was posted in its entirety as received by This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of, its sponsors or advertisers.

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