3D printed hands giving new opportunity to kids

LOUDON, Tenn. (WVLT) -- It's been a lifetime of waiting, but now two East Tennessee kids have 3D printed prosthetic hands and new energy for the future.

Chris Olvera, a 2nd grader, was recommended to take part in a research project at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee. Olvera was born without a fully developed hand.

Cole Carter, a first year medical student at LMU leads the project and design. Carter joined a team dedicated to building low cost prosthetic hands for kids like Olvera.

Monday, Carter met with Olvera and 11-year-old Macy Presley, a fifth-grader at Philadelphia Elementary School, to give them their new hands. Presley also has a left hand that never developed.

Both got to see and try on their new hands, however both were just slightly too small and will be redone in a month's time according to Carter.

"There are other devices that work on the movement of the wrist, so it's relying on the power of the muscles of the child," said Carter.

The parents of Macy said the new hand will give her new opportunities even though she has not let her underdeveloped hand slow down her goals.