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article imageResilient Chinese man builds own prosthetics after losing limbs

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By Dierdra Baptiste     Aug 16, 2012 in Health
The costs of prosthetics after losing both hands in an explosion eight years ago was too much for Sun Jifa. So he set out and built his own.
The 51-year-old man from Guanmashan, Jilin province, northern China had been severely injured while using a homemade bomb for fishing. A common practice in many regions. The result was loss of both hands.
Unable to pay for ones from the hospital, he spent eight years between planning and constructing with scrap metal to create the prosthetics himself.
"I survived [the fishing accident] but I had no hands and I couldn't afford to buy the false hands the hospital wanted me to have -- so I decided to make my own."
He went on further to explain how these arms allow him to function. "I control them with movements from my elbows and I can work, love normally and feed myself just like anyone else."
Sun told The Daily Mail, the only problem he experiences with the arms is fatigue after wearing due to the weight of the metal and its response to weather, retaining both hot and cold temperatures.
His future plans? Sun Jifa says he's going to help others suffering from similar disabilities and injuries. The Huffington Post reports an estimated 24 million people in China have limb disabilities and would benefit from rehab services and greater prosthetics development.
From the elbow down, may remind one of the Tin Man, but he's not only full of heart, he also has and used quite a bit of courage and brain. "I made this from scrap metal for virtually nothing. There is no need to pay hospitals a fortune."
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More about Do it yourself, prosthetics, Invention, A Story of Survival, Chinese ingenuity
 

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