College Students Build A ‘Frozen’-Themed Prosthetic Arm For 9-Year-Old Karissa Mitchell

If you were looking to have your faith in humanity restored then this heartwarming story will do just that. It involves nine-year-old Karissa Mitchell who was born without a right hand and most of her wrist, but was recently given a Frozen-themed prosthetic arm by college students.

The arm was made by Enabling the Future which is a country-wide organization that has a chapter at Siena College in Albany, New York. Back in 2015 the students of the Siena e-NABLE group built a 3D-printed Iron Man-themed hand for five-year-old Jack Carder in Ohio.

After seeing this Karissa's mom contacted the group and after Karissa saw Jack's hand she immediately wanted a Frozen-themed arm. “She’s watched the movie at least 100 times. We sing the songs all the time. We even have a karaoke machine that’s ‘Frozen’-themed,” Karissa’s mother Maria Mitchell told KCTV.

“Karissa really identifies with Elsa because she knows what it's like to be different from everyone else,” Maria Mitchell said. “She doesn’t want to be seen as different, which has made her extremely determined to do things as well, if not better, than others.”

So the team set about building Karissa her Frozen-themed arm. The finished piece took around 30 hours to print and consisted of around 30 parts. To make it Frozen-esque the engineering students used an ice blue filament, put snowflake patterns on it, and put on Karissa's name with an Elsa crown. It also has a squeezable hand.

Usually prosthetic arms can cost up to $10,000 but with 3D printing the cost comes down a huge amount, to around $30 to $50. The team at Enabling the Future were able to give Karissa her arm for free.

“It's an amazing feeling to be able to help someone and know that you can help them do things that they wouldn't normally be able to do." said Alyx Gleason, the project lead and president of Siera e-NABLE. "When we met Karissa and her family, they were so nice and it was a great fit. Karissa’s face lit up when we showed her a test hand. She is a very deserving girl.”


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