An 11-year-old boy from Clarksville, Tennessee who was born without most of his hands received an extra-special Christmas gift this year.
Last week, Gavin Sumner was invited to a special Christmas gathering at the Montgomery County Mayor’s Office, where he was given a new pair of customized hands created by a 3-D printer, The Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle reported.
Gavin was presented with the gift by Mayor Jim Durrett after the local community came together to make the special present possible.
“Today was nothing short of amazing!” Gavin’s mom Kori Suitter wrote in a Facebook post, along with several photos and videos of Gavin opening his present and trying out his new hands. “Not only did Gavin’s wish for hands come true, but they were presented to him by the mayor! I am so thankful for everyone who came together to make this a surprise for Gavin.”
According to the Leaf-Chronicle, Gavin was born without most of his hands due to a vascular disruption that causes lack of blood flow to various body parts. He is also missing his left foot and 40 percent of his tongue, the outlet reported.
Without functioning hands, Gavin is unable to do tasks like riding a bicycle or holding a cup with one hand, according to the Leaf-Chronicle.
“I always try to push myself to try and see if I can do it,” he told the outlet. “But, I do take in the fact that there are some things I can’t do, and now I’m having to accept that.”
According to WZTV, 3-D printed hands were on Gavin’s Christmas list last year. His mother posted about it on Facebook and eventually got in touch with Anthony Economos, the president of marketing and product development firm Bedstone Creative.
Economos worked with Enabling the Future, an online community of volunteers who use their 3-D printers to make “free and low-cost prosthetic upper limb devices for children and adults in need.” It took almost a year to create the finished hands, WZTV reported, but now they’ll be able to quickly make Gavin new hands as he grows up.
“Now that we have Gavin’s files done, we’ll be able to support him as he grows and we’ll be able to print a hand up in a matter of a weekend,” Economos told the outlet, which also reported that prosthetic hands normally cost about $6,000.
“This is the best Christmas ever,” Gavin told the Leaf-Chronicle.
“I came to the fact that God chose me for a purpose, and I’m going to live that purpose,” he added. “I hope my purpose is to inspire other people.”