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5-year-old Texas boy gets a 3D-printed prosthetic helping hand

Here’s your feel-good story of the week: A 5-year-old boy born with an underdeveloped right hand was given a helping hand by a global group of volunteers in the form of a 3D-printed prosthetic hand.

Keith Harris, a kindergartener in League City, Texas, was born with symbrachydactyly, which means one of his hands didn’t fully develop. His family affectionately calls that hand Keith’s “lucky fin.”

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“He doesn’t like when people stare at him, he doesn’t like when people continue to ask about it,” Kimberly Harris, Ketih’s mother, told KHOU. “So the past five years have been challenging in a sense that there is nothing we can do about it.”

Getting Keith a traditional prosthetic hand, which would eventually be outgrown and uncomfortable to wear, would have cost the family about $40,000, according to Harris. But a group of volunteers scattered across the world stepped in and 3D printed a prosthetic hand for Keith free of charge. The hand cost them about $45-50 to make, and Keith will receive a replacement when he outgrows his current one.

e-NABLE is a worldwide group of “tinkerers, engineers, 3D print enthusiasts, occupational therapists, university professors, designers, parents, families, artists, students, teachers and people who just want to make a difference,” according to its website.

Keith excitedly tested out his new hand by giving high-fives and hugs while wearing a T-shirt that read “Ten Fingers Are Overrated.”