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Watch: Classmates help aspiring mechanic shift into top gear with 3D-printed arm

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By Lindsey Johnstone  with Reuters
Watch: Classmates help aspiring mechanic shift into top gear with 3D-printed arm
Copyright  Reuters

Despite being born without her right forearm, car fanatic Kinga Wawro has not let that stop her pursuing her chosen career — with a little help from her friends.

Classmates of the 19-year-old at a technical school in Jaroslaw, south-east Poland, designed and 3D-printed a prosthetic arm for Wawro, to help her achieve her dream of becoming a car mechanic.

The prosthesis is the result of a project between Wawro's classmates and the E-Nable foundation, a global community of volunteers who use their 3D printers to create free arms and hands for those in need.

Wawro's lightweight prosthesis comes equipped with a torch and magnets for holding screws to help her when fixing cars. Thanks to her new arm she has been able to pass her practical exams with no extra assistance.

Her mother Lucyna has been overwhelmed by how the prosthesis has changed her daughter's attitude both in and out of school. 

"She used to close herself off. She had to work hard with psychologists, it really was a lot of hard work," she said.

"Now my child is smiling, my child is happy, she is going to fulfil her dreams thanks to these wonderful boys and teachers at this school. I will never be able to repay this debt, for as long as I live."

Speaking of her life before and after the gift of her prosthetic arm, Wawro said: "I was afraid. I was afraid [of] how people would perceive me, how they would treat me and I want to be seen. Even people on the street would stare at my arm and it hurt me.

"Now, I go out with my prosthesis and I show it off on purpose so that people will see that I'm special."

Video editor • Francois Rudolf