This affectionate father has a son who was born missing one hand. The dad made his boy an awesome prosthetic hand inspired by superheroes. Now he makes artificial hands for other would-be superheroes across the country!
Four-year-old Carter Campos suffers from congenital amputation—a condition in which a baby is born without a limb or multiple limbs. His condition was discovered at 12 weeks when his mother completed a regular scan.
“A doctor came back in and told us that in the best case scenario he would be missing a right hand and the worst case he would be missing his whole right arm,” Carter’s father, Michael Campos, said, according to Storytrender.com.
“They couldn’t give an answer as to why he was born without a right hand, it just stopped developing above the wrist without explanation.”
This made his parents worry about the extent of his disability and how this would influence his life.
Campos said, “His mom and I were devastated, we constantly worried how severely he would be affected and the struggles he would face.”
Carter proved to be an extraordinary boy with an indomitable spirit—he learned how to cope with his limb difference.
“I’m extremely proud of Carter, he has taught me so much about life, he never complains about his difficulties and is such a strong-willed boy,” said Campos.
“Carter is so determined, he’s learned everything his own way, from crawling, holding a bottle to buttoning his jeans, zipping-up his jacket all without assistance.”
“In some ways, it was hard watching him struggle at first while learning to perform a task, but once he figured it out, it was such a great moment and a massive achievement for him.”
“But once he was born we realized this kid is resilient and can do anything he puts his mind to.”
Despite Carter’s ability to cope with his condition, he also wanted to have two hands.
Five years ago in 2014, little Carter received his first prosthetic hand or “claw” at “1 year, 7 months, 1 week, and 4 days old.”
3 years ago Carter received his first "claw" at 1 year, 7 months, 1 week, and 4 days old. #theclaw #rrarrrrrr #mydude #clawsfromcarter
Then one day in 2016, the 4-year-old Carter asked his dad if he would build one new hand for him, but Campos was unable to at that time.
“Last year, when Carter asked me ‘Daddy will you build me a hand,’ I felt so helpless not being able to do it at the time and promised him that one day I’d be able to make one,” said Campos.
Fortunately, he too had a strong will and after some trial and error, together with a volunteer group, he had a prosthetic hand 3D-printed for Carter, which cost only $10 to build.
Not only was the hand light and functional, it was cool too!
“He wanted an Iron Man hand. I spent hours printing at a slow speed to give it the right gloss and shine, I made it glow in the dark, attached a fidget spinner and put Carter on the side,” said Campos.
“He absolutely loved it, seeing the smile on his face was an unforgettable moment.”
“No words can describe the feeling of being able to fulfill his request, it was extremely satisfying and the skill has changed my life,” he added.
Campos’s idea and invention became such a big success that he began building prosthetic hands for other children with limb differences too.
“Within a month, I built Carter his second arm and from then onwards we have been building like crazy for other kids all over the US and even sent one to the UK,” Campos said. “Now whenever Carter comes to visit me, he always checks the printers because he wants to help with assembling, knowing the themes, where they are going and to know the kids too.”
“He’s really thrilled by it all and often sits on my lap, where we can put the pieces together, as well as meeting other kids like him.”
Campos even started a company called “Claws from Carter,” which produces 3D-printed hands for kids across the globe—free of charge. He believes that this work makes himself and his son better people.
In his own words, “I believed what happened to my son was all for a reason, Carter was born to enlighten me and to contribute to the world by making these hands. Carter is learning to do something kind for other people without expecting anything in return, he’s learning to live selflessly which is one of the most important things I can teach him.”
Carter and Campos’s zest for creative solutions and helping kids in need are infectious! As the doting father said, all things happen for a reason.
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