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Students make prosthetic hand for classmate using 3D printer

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BATON ROUGE - One sixth grader in Baton Rouge is thanking her classmates for giving her something she has always lived without.

"Thank you, because now I can have two hands," 11-year-old Jak'kyra Brown said.

Jak'kyra was born without a right hand below the wrist. When she was in the womb, her umbilical cord was wrapped around her lower arm, causing it not to grow. Eleven years later, her classmates at Kenwilworth Science and Technology Charter School told her they were going to make her a brand new one.

"I went home and told my mama," Jak'kyra said. "I called everyone on my call log."

With the help of a 3D printer, the school's Robotics Team created a hi-tech hand for Jak'kyra.

"We printed out pieces of the hand we were supposed to make," eighth grade student Darius Manogin said. "We put them all together and we stitched them up with fishing lines, and that is how we got the hand to work."

Fishing lines and rubber bands are the framework of the hand. It is red and gray, Jakyra's favorite colors. It is complete with sparkly stickers and her name engraved on it. Jak'kyra's new accessory gives her the freedom to do more.

"I can do everything," Jak'kyra said. "I can play basketball, and I can do cartwheels better."

"I mean her confidence has always been high," Jak'kyra's mother Jonique Brown said. "It just makes her feel better."

Insurance does not cover children's prosthetics, so getting a prosthetic hand could cost families up to $10,000. The Kenilworth crew built it for just $56, but they gave it to Jak'kyra for free.

Jak'kyra and her family say the helping hand is a blessing. In the future, Jak'kyra plans to use it to reach for the stars and help others like her.

"I want to be an engineer," Jak'kyra said. "I am going to help people by making hands like me who do not have any."


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