4th Grader Gets 3D Printed Bionic Arm Personally Delivered By Darth Vader


Darth Vader is making up for his misdeeds with The Force all these years by personally handing over a new arm to a 9-year-old boy in Omaha who was born without a right hand from the elbow down.

Alvin Garcia Flores was given the surprise of a lifetime on Jan. 14 when Darth Vader and his Stormtroopers showed up at Gateway Elementary School and presented him with a handy gift in front of over a hundred other fourth graders in attendance.

Darth Vader and the Stormtroopers are members of the Central Garrison's 501st Legion and they're all about doing good while dressed up as the "Star Wars" antagonists, which is perfect since Alvin's new bionic arm has the same design as a Stormtrooper's arm, only that it has a gold trim.

The whole thing was made possible by Gateway Principal Terry Burton who watched a video of Robert Downey Jr. giving an Iron Man 3D printed bionic arm to a child and immediately thought of Alvin. He wrote to the organization responsible for the Iron Man arm when Alvin expressed his interest in having his own bionic arm and they agreed to build one for the boy when they read his story.

The bionic 3D printed arm was made by Limbitless Solutions, a non-profit organization from Florida whose mission is to provide free bionic 3D printed arms to children whose families cannot afford it.

"We believe that no family should have to pay for their child to receive an arm. Now we want to lead by example and encourage communities to innovate with compassion," it explains.

The volunteer-driven organization knows that insurance companies do not always extend coverage to children and what they want is to alleviate the cost of providing bionic limbs by developing custom-made 3D printed versions that come at a fraction of the cost.

Alvin's mother, Leticia Flores de Garcia, recalled how people still looked at Alvin differently in spite of his outgoing attitude just because of his missing limb and she was filled with tears when Alvin smiled at seeing his new hand grip for the first time.

"He's going to feel better as a person," she said.

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