Dad Helps His Son Walk by Creating 3D-Printed Orthosis
Most dads would do anything for their kids, but few could change the medical community in the process. In this remarkable case, a Slovenian dad helped his son walk by creating a custom, 3D-printed orthosis.
When Nik was born, doctors discovered that he had cerebral palsy, a disorder that affects muscle movement. He was born one month prematurely, and there were difficulties during childbirth. Matej, Nik’s dad, was told that his son would never learn to walk. Most orthotics are not very customizable, and the ones that are cost a small fortune. But after six months of research and experimentation with 3D-printed technology, Matej came up with his own design for custom orthoses.
The plastic shapes, as opposed to large boots, simply fit inside regular shoes and help kids with cerebral palsy walk on their own. While orthoses have hardly changed in the last 50 years, this innovative process avoids bracing the knees, which actually hinders free movement. The result? Seven-year-old Nik began to walk in just three days.
Matej then started a company, aNImaKe (the capitalized letters spell his son’s name), to help other children with the same problem. These orthoses are all custom-made, take less than 24 hours to develop, and cost less than their predecessors. Now, children everywhere can move on their own and enjoy childhood like every kid should.
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