A schoolboy who was born with one arm is looking forward to “doing things other kids can do” after his teacher made him a special prosthetic limb for just £30.
Lewis McCaslin, 12, was given the “life-changing” appendage by Daniel Grant, a design technology teacher at Bradfield School in Sheffield, South Yorks.
The youngster had been born without a left forearm after complications at birth and was given a prosthetic arm by the NHS when he was five.
But Lewis, who has ADHD and Tourette’s, did not find the arm comfortable as it was too heavy and was fixed in position, which restricted what he could do with it.
Mr Grant was impressed by Lewis’s enthusiasm and made him a new, lighter “bionic” arm using a 3D printer in the school’s DT department.
The arm has been designed to look like Iron Man, one of his favourite film characters, and attaches at his left elbow.
When Lewis raises his arm, the fist closes allowing him to grip things.
Lewis said: “I am so excited to be able to ride my bike in the summer and be like everybody else.”
His mum Nicki, 35, said: “He loves it. This has given him a real boost, it is definitely life-changing.
“He used to love riding his bike, but he had to lean over the handlebars with his stump.
“He hasn’t been allowed to ride it for a while because he had a bad accident due to how he had to lean over.
“Now he’ll be able to hold onto the handlebars using his new arm. He needs special adaptations to his bike first, but he can’t wait to get back on it.
“He can do little things that other kids can do, that we can all do but probably take for granted.
“When he cuts anything at school, for example, he has to hold it under his stump and use the scissors really close to his body, which can be dangerous, so it will make things safer too.”
Sheffield Wednesday fan Lewis has tried to live a normal life despite missing his left forearm and has adapted to it over the years.
But Nicki said Lewis is now looking forward to playing ball with his brothers Joshua, 15, Connor, 11 and Jamie, 10.
She added: “They’ve always been close and his brothers have always been protective of him, but now he can catch a ball with them.
“He’s still learning how to use it, but it’s just amazing. He’ll be able to feel like everybody else and it will help him do everything that other kids are able to do.”
Mr Grant researched the prosthetic and measured Lewis’ right arm then sent the measurements off to an engineer at a charity called Team UnLimbited.
They took the measurements and sent back the files for making the arm with a 3D printer, which Mr Grant then printed out and built at the school.
While it took Mr Grant a long time to make the arm, it only cost about £30 in parts.
Nicki added: “Just before Christmas, I got a phone call from the school to say that was what he wanted to do for him.
“I am just so grateful. There are not many people that go out of their way to give people a chance and they have given Lewis the chance to do things he has never been able to do before.
“I can’t thank him enough, he is so good with Lewis, so patient and helpful. It really will change his life.”
Mr Grant said: “I wanted to do this because I thought it could be a really positive part of what had been a pretty rubbish year.
“I thought this was an incredible opportunity to use the equipment we have here in school. It feels great to have been able to bless Lewis with this arm.
“It uses a reasonably complex mechanism that relies on the elbow joint and small amount of forearm on Lewis’ left side.
“When Lewis raises his arm the fist closes, and Lewis is pretty capable at manoeuvring it so he can pick things up.”
Adrian May, headteacher at Bradfield, said: “It’s an amazing piece of work. It can bend and it can grip. The prosthetic he had was fixed and didn’t do anything.
“Lewis completely deserves it. He’s a lovely boy.
“It’s amazing what some of the teachers here can do.”