Stephen Davies, a 43-year-old man from Swansea, England, was wildly disappointed in the prosthetic arms that he had been receiving for most of his life. He was grateful to have something to use, but he felt like they could be better. He also felt like children should not only have something that was usable, but also something that was affordable and "cool" for a child to wear.
This idea was what led him to start experimenting at home with designing prosthetics from his backyard shed. The times had changed, and easy access to 3D printers had changed the game for innovative people like Davies, so after several iterations of his design, he finally perfected something that fit the goals he had set out to meet.
Not only had Davies designed something that was affordable to families, but he also made his design free for other people around the world to use. He uploaded his design, which came with easy to follow instructions, in hopes that more children around the globe could have access to these prosthesis.
Davies routinely gets letters from grateful parents around the globe, and they always include a photo of their child wearing the arm he designed.
The average prosthetic arm can cost over $40,000. And if you consider a the fact of how quickly a child will grow out them (much the same as a pair of shoes), then you can understand why some parents are just overwhelmed by the costs associated with keeping their children in properly fitting appendages.
Davies has changed the game. His design materials only cost around $30 per arm, and that isn't all. He doesn't charge people for the arms he makes, he gives them all away for free.
His work is completely funded by donations, as well as by money that grateful parents of the children who have received his arms already have raised to ensure that he can continue to make a difference in the lives of children around the world.
Davies lets the children pick their own colors and themes to ensure they get exactly what they want. "We've done Iron Man designs, Harry Potter, Lego and Spider-Man. The key is making something the child actually wants to wear and feels is cool enough to show their friends," said Davies.
Davies's shed was even shortlisted for the "Shed of the Year" competition in England, because of his work.
We hope he wins, he definitely deserves it.