A 7-year-old Lakewood girl whose arm was amputated due to complications from condition she had at birth received a replacement appendage at a Los Alamitos facility on Tuesday.
Traditional prosthetics can cost up to $40,000, according to an advocacy group, but Faith Lennox’s new hand cost her family a mere $50.
That’s in part because it was created by a 3-D printer.
“Thank you,” shy Faith said repeatedly as she tried out the new hand.
Watching his daughter take a test ride on her bike, Faith’s father Greg Lennox said he was “amazed.”
“It’s a very, very good day,” Greg Lennox said. “A very emotional day.”
Faith’s left forearm and hand were amputated when she was 9 months old, according to Build It Workspace, where her new limb was printed in 24 hours. It took less than a month to design and plan for the hand, and the final pieces were printed Tuesday morning.
The family was put in touch with Build It Workspace President Mark Lengsfeld through the Lucky Fin Project, a nonprofit devoted to children with different abilities related to their limbs, according to a news release from the workspace.
Lengsfeld authorized full use of the facility to make Faith’s hand.
“It's just an amazing opportunity to be here just to help her,” Lengsfeld said.
Faith chose her favorite colors for the design of her hand: pink, purple, blue and orange.
She said she looked forward to coloring and riding her bike — and showing it to her friends.
“Her class has been amazing. We are so blessed,” said Faith’s mother Nicole Lennox. “The students have been so great with her, and so loving and accepting just from day one. It’s really awesome.”
During her mother’s labor, circulation to Faith’s arm was cut off — a crush injury known as compartment syndrome, which is not uncommon in adults but very rare in infants. The skin and muscle had to be removed, and the bones in her forearm broke and would not heal.
Amputation was the only option.
Nonetheless, Faith taught herself how to swim when she was 3 or 4, her mom said. She then learned to surf with one hand and dreams of becoming a professional surfer like Bethany Hamilton, a pro whose left arm was bitten off in a 2003 shark attack. Faith father's said she surfs with him every weekend.
Though she has adapted to her condition so well, the new hand will help alleviate back pain that Faith gets due to unequal arm lengths, her mother said.
Once the new hand was fitted, Faith was soon taking a ride in the parking lot outside the workspace. Her quickness to adapt shouldn't have been a surprise, her mom said.
"She put that thing on and just started using it. She hopped right on her bike and she's just having a blast," Nicole Lennox said. "We're so happy for her."
Faith’s hand was realized through a collaboration of the workspace, the printer maker Airwolf 3D, California State University Dominguez Hills, and E-Nable, a group of volunteers who donate their time and skills to create free printed hands for those that need them.
“We hope to help as many children as we can,” said John Wong of E-Nable.