Feature Technology

March 11th, 2016

Emmy’s Amazing Hand

emmy and handPurchase a Copy of “Emmy’s Amazing Hand” Today!

Sweet-faced Emmy Hoffman, 5, was born without fingers on one hand. She is soon to experience, for the first time, what it means to have fingers on both hands. Emmy has been fitted with a prosthesis at Ability Prosthetics in Mechanicsburg, PA, that will not only help her grip the handlebars of her bike, but open a new world of possibilities.

Using 3-D printing technology, the cost of the new hand for Emmy is more than affordable, and far less expensive than a more advanced myoelectric prosthetic. Emmy was born with Symbrachydactyly, a congenital condition that can result in limb abnormalities, such as missing fingers. Symbrachydactyly happens in about 1 in 32,0000 births.

“Before you are faced with this situation, ‘normal’ is 10 fingers, 10 toes,” Thomas Hoffman, Emmy’s dad said. “Emmy’s as normal as the other two (Hoffman children). She’s just made differently. One son has red hair, the other has blonde; she has a difference with her fingers. My definition of normal has changed.”

Emmy’s mom, Jocelyn Hoffman, an elementary school teacher, recently published “Emmy’s Amazing Hand,” in part to explain Emmy’s situation to her two older brothers and to the children at Emmy’s school. The book educates and assures, using illustrated images of Emmy doing the same things all kids do. Go HERE to purchase a copy of “Emmy’s Amazing Hand.” 12705673_1557382541219874_5577790625257028915_n

“The main point of the book is that these kids can do everything,” said Jocelyn Hoffman. “As a parent, that’s hard to picture when they are so tiny.”emmy and jocelyn

Although Emmy can do so much more than people realize, there are some activities, like riding a bike, which will
be much easier for her thanks to 3-D printing technology. Ability Prosthetics in Exton has fitted Emmy with her first prosthesis.

As she grows, she will receive newly sized fingers, at a minimal annual cost of a few hundred dollars.

Eric Shoemaker from Ability’s Mechanicsburg office is Emmy’s prosthetist, and a family friend. In Emmy’s case, the prosthesis was created with online sharing designs and software. Ability has printed more than a dozen prostheses in their Frederick, MD office.

“This hand is very simple,” Shoemaker said. “When Emmy flexes her wrist, the cables tighten and flex the fingers so the hand closes, and she will be better able to grasp objects.” 3-D printing is a cost effective and quick way to build a prosthesis, and its use is relatively new in the field of prosthetics.

Watch Emmy’s Story HERE.

emmy and family




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