Sometimes it seems like you can use LEGO blocks to build just about anything your brain can imagine.
David “Hand Solo” Aguilar of Andorra was just 9 years old when he dismantled one of his LEGO models to make himself a prosthetic arm. Born with a rare genetic condition that kept one arm from forming properly, David was tired of being bullied and dreamed of using LEGOs to help not just himself, but others, too.
David kept making LEGO prosthetics as he worked towards a bioengineering degree. He currently holds the Guinness World Record for making the first functional LEGO prosthetic arm, and he’s always eager to help people with limb differences achieve more functionality through affordable prosthetics.
When David learned about an 8-year-old boy in Kazakhstan who doctors said is too young for a regular prosthetic, he agreed to meet with the child to design a custom LEGO prosthetic. Beknur Zhanibekuly and his mother drove for 800 miles to visit David.
David bonded with Beknur right away. Both had experienced bullying because of their limb differences, and both love “Star Wars” and, of course, LEGOs. Beknur uses his feet to do everything, but he wished he could pick things up with the same ease his classmates enjoy. After getting to know each other a bit, David got to work!
First, he made a model of Beknur’s hand using Play-Doh. Then, he designed a custom prototype on his computer, consulting Beknur on important questions like which color blocks to use. He printed out the results on a 3D printer, and in no time at all Beknur was trying out his new prosthetic arm!
“It works!” Beknur exclaimed as he used his new LEGO prosthesis to pick up a block from the table.
The little boy and his mother beamed with joy as he used his new limb, and David couldn’t be happier. After all these years, his dream of helping others through his LEGO technic designs came true.
Beknur’s mother is confident that the LEGO limb will help her son fit in at school.
“The first and most important thing is self esteem,” said Beknur’s mother. “When Beknur goes to school he’s comparing himself to other kids and he gets disappointed when he can’t grab something. With a prosthetic he will get more functionality, plus, you know, the LEGO prosthetic looks cool.”
David has stayed true to his mission of helping others through LEGO technology. We hope Beknur loves his new prosthetic and finds the acceptance every child needs and deserves.
Watch the video below to see Beknur’s adorable reaction to his new prosthesis, and don’t forget to share.
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