NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A remarkable team in North Texas has combined ingenuity, engineering and expertise to design 3D-printed prosthesis. It has helped one teenage baseball player who lost part of his index finger as a child.
Baseball is more than just a game for 16-year-old Cruz Ramos. However, at five years old, life threw him a major curveball.
“It was my worst nightmare,” his mother said.
While shopping at a mall with his mother that day, Ramos’ index finger got caught in the corner step of an escalator as he reached for a toy.
“His index finger just dangling by an inch of his skin,” Ramos’ mother said.
The accident severed his finger tip but didn’t crush his dreams.
“I started throwing with my middle finger…” said Ramos.
However, as the game started getting more competitive, his long throws started suffering. That’s when Dr. Todd Dombroski, director of the Biomechanical Medicine Clinic at the University of North Texas Health Science Center stepped up to the plate.
“I said, ‘would you like me to print you an index finger?'” said Dr. Dombroski.
The retired U.S. Army colonel treated wounded warriors of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
At the UNT Health Science Center, Dr. Dombroski and a team of senior engineering students create ingenious fixes for obstacles that expensive prosthesis can’t tackle, like a simple 3D-printed stylus tool that allows an amputee to use a computer.
The team is helping people across the country live fulfilling lives.
Seven-year-old Isiah from Wisconsin lost his hand in a lawnmower accident. His new attachments give him the freedom to play hockey and ride a bike.
Joseph Grabionowiski, a wounded warrior, is able to skydive thanks to a custom-built “belmet” that the team designed.
The latest version of Ramos’ attachment is a custom fit for any budget. Only 12 dollars. It’s pocket change for a priceless function.
“I was overwhelmed with emotions on how much of a difference it made,” Ramos’ mother said.
Ramo was always a strong player, but now he’s back in the game with more accuracy and control thanks to the UNT Health Science Center.