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Jul 08 2016
by Jenna Ciccotelli

College Students Helped Give This Little Girl A Right Hand

By Jenna Ciccotelli - Jul 08 2016
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Karissa Mitchell was born with a partial wrist and palm on her right arm. Mitchell's mother explained to NBC News that her daughter had struggled with heavy prosthesis in the past and would write with her left hand, though she is believed to be naturally right handed.

Enter e-NABLE, Siena College's chapter of the global nonprofit Enabling the Future. Eight physics students worked in the advanced lab to build Karissa a new prosthetic that focused on movement at the elbow and will allow her to open and close her fingers and pick up objects. The prosthetic was 3D-printed on sheets of special plastic over a 30 hour period and took two hours to assemble. The arm was inspired by the movie "Frozen" and featured snowflakes, the movie's signature shade of blue, and the lovable snowman Olaf.

"She's doing really well and enjoying it, but it's going to take some time to get the movement," Karissa's mother told NBC News.  Karissa, who wants to be a professional soccer player and conservationist when she is older, is planning to learn to write with her new prosthetic. "She's very ambitious," her mother said.

 "I don't think words can describe her reaction," said Miranda Marnes, one of the e-NABLE team leaders. "She had the biggest smile on her face. It was an amazing feeling."

The e-NABLE team is already working on their next project: a prosthetic arm for a girl in Uganda.

Lead Image Credit: Siena College via Twitter

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Jenna Ciccotelli - Northeastern University

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