Boy Is Whole Without Prosthetic Arm
Earlier this week Catherine Campbell posted a very insightful essay on The New York Times Parenting Blog. A few weeks ago Campbell had woken up to 48 e-mails all sharing the same video which had gone viral. The video is about Robert Downey Jr. (also known as Iron Man) delivering a bionic arm to a 7-year-old boy who was born with an arm which was partially developed.
Campbell was the recipient of these e-mails because she has an 8-year-old son named Thaddeus who was born without his right hand. Many of the people in in Campbell’s life were aware that she had been looking for the right prosthetic option for Thaddeus since he was a toddler.
Campbell explains that Thaddeus has always had access to amazing doctors, therapists and prosthetists. At the age of 5, Thaddeus received his first prosthetic arm. While the arm allowed him to do many things he was previously unable to do, it was very uncomfortable and it was too hot for him to wear. He was only able to endure the discomfort for about year.
Last fall, Campbell began looking into a 3-D printed prosthetic arm along with a friend of hers who is a professor and had access to the 3-D printing lab at his college. The option for 3-D printing was “affordable and customizable.” A lot of work would have to go into making the 3-D prosthetic but its benefits would be amazing.
Upon receiving the 48 e-mails Campbell, filled with excitement, decided to show Thaddeus the viral video of the boy receiving his bionic arm. This is when Thaddeus revealed to his mother that he didn’t want a prosthetic arm.
He told his mother that he didn’t want to lose his sense of touch and that he didn’t want to forget the way things feel. He also told her that he is able to figure out how to do things his own way. He even understood that because of his missing hand his brain works differently and he believes that’s a good thing. Lastly, he told her that his friends accept him the way he is, and that he felt a prosthetic hand would get him attention he didn’t want, he wanted people to like him for who he genuinely is.
Campbell ended her essaying saying that as a mother, she had wanted the best for him, she hadn’t realized that Thaddeus had never felt that anything was missing.
According to Campbell’s website, the story that was featured on The New York Times has received an overwhelming amount of support.