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A New Way to Build Prosthetics

prosthetic-building-2016Even though Jordan and I had huge adventures in our first 24 hours in Chicago, the real reason we visited the city was to kick off the building process for a new prosthetic arm after she grew out of her newest one less than a year after we built one the summer of 2015. It’s the first time she’s grown up so rapidly in a long time. Most arms have lasted about 18 months at a time, so I can’t complain.

After a jam-packed first day in the city, Jordan and her prosthetist, David Rotter, worked a very long day to put together a test socket before we flew home that night.

Jordan has worked on building prosthetics with Dave for the last eight years, so they’ve gotten to know each other pretty well. Add in Jordan’s work on learning about design and the two had even more ways to communicate and work together. This time around, not only did Jordan give input on what she’d like to use with her next prosthetics, but she also got to help build her test socket.

After casting her arm, Jordan got to help build her test socket and even learn how to make a socket. She got to drill holes, glue things and help piece things together as Dave and his crew built out a new arm. She’s especially excited about the concept of being able to tighten and loosen the hold on her arm with the help of a cool-looking lacing system.

A video posted by Jen Reeves (@jenleereeves) on

We’re excited to see some of Dave’s ideas. He wants to make it possible for Jordan to add standard and 3D printed hands to the arm they’re creating. This mashup concept isn’t traditional, and I’m excited to see Jordan getting this chance to break with tradition.

learning-from-daveThe big difference between this round of prosthetics from the past is we only had 24 hours of building. Every other time we’ve worked with Dave, we spent a full week in town. This time, we hope to use a combination of shipping items back and forth along with using our 3D printer to tinker with the test socket. We think our next tester will arrive soon! (Dave was waiting on a part and he’s going to use a backup one so we can keep moving with the design.)

As always, I need to thank Dave and his entire staff at Scheck & Siress at UIC Hospital. They went above and beyond the call of duty getting the test socket complete in one long and intense day. I’m constantly thankful for our huge team of support. I am honored the entire team was willing to let a ten-year-old invade their workspace as she got to learn and participate in the building of her socket. This maker kid is learning so much this year.

1 Comment

  1. Lisa on December 2, 2016 at 9:19 am

    She truly is a special kid. Nothing or no one can slow her down or get in her way. Glad to see all these amazing doors opening for her. Keep on reaching for the stars Jordan.

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