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While the industry of 3D printed prosthetics continues to boom, less often do we hear of 3D printed devices assisting in an individual’s progress toward rehabilitation. In addition to outright replacing a missing limb, additive manufacturing technology can help patients who merely need a helping hand while they re-learn how to walk, exercise and maneuver the space around them. The distinction may be small for those who’ve never personally experienced a physical disability, but for many, it’s a world of difference.
For one young athlete in Barcelona, 3D printing has done just that by effectively facilitating the process to recovery. 16-year-old Pedro is a self-proclaimed sports aficionado who suffered a stroke in August of 2012. A left ganglia basal hemorrhage paralysed half of his body, setting the Catalonian athlete back in his physical abilities, but as it turned out, only temporarily. After a long, intensive period of rehabilitation, Pedro was able to recover a great deal of his mobility. The only exception was Pedro’s right hand, which continued to be affected by spasticity, a disorder of the central nervous system that affects the muscles, and can partially or completely hinder movement in the impacted muscle group.
July - Pedro - Setbacks - Athlete - Sports
By July 2016, Pedro was steadily forging ahead despite his initial setbacks. The young athlete successfully launched a new sports organization within the Club de Natació l’Hospitalet, an innovative swimming club with a new adapted swimming division. It was here that Pedro began working with coach Àlex Agut and swimming club president Jordi Lorca to find a solution for his spasticity, which caused difficulty in properly positioning his hand while swimming. Banning together, the three got in touch with prestigious post secondary institution Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC). Via the UPC’s CIM Foundation, an institute focused on technological advancement, Pedro’s query was put forward to the...
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