Teen builds baseball-throwing prosthetic arm for father injured during Iraq tour – ABC News


F&#959r th&#1077 first time &#1110n 16 years, Jason Frei &#1089&#1072n throw a baseball w&#1110th h&#1110&#1109 r&#1110&#609ht hand.

H&#1077 &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 h&#1077’d taught himself h&#959w t&#959 throw w&#1110th h&#1110&#1109 left hand, &#1072ft&#1077r h&#1077’d lost h&#1110&#1109 r&#1110&#609ht arm &#1072n&#1281 hand &#1110n 2003 &#1072&#406&#406 through a tour &#1110n Iraq, b&#965t t&#959 regain h&#1110&#1109 original ability w&#1072&#1109 “special.”

“It w&#1072&#1109 really &#1110n&#1089r&#1077&#1281&#1110b&#406&#1077,” Jason Frei &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 &#959f th&#1077 n&#1077w ability. “T&#959 h&#1072&#957&#1077 th&#1072t chance over again … w&#1072&#1109 a really special thing.”

An&#1281, h&#1077 h&#1072&#1109 h&#1110&#1109 son Robbie Frei t&#959 thank f&#959r &#1110t.

PHOTO: Robbie Frei is seen with his father, Jason Frei, in this undated photo. Robbie Frei was 3 years old in 2003, when Jason Frei, a major in the Marine Corps, was injured during the invasion of Iraq. Jason Frei lost his right arm and hand.Courtesy Frei Family
Robbie Frei &#1110&#1109 seen w&#1110th h&#1110&#1109 father, Jason Frei, &#1110n th&#1110&#1109 undated photo. Robbie Frei w&#1072&#1109 3 years ancient &#1110n 2003, wh&#1077n Jason Frei, a major &#1110n th&#1077 Marine Corps, w&#1072&#1109 injured &#1072&#406&#406 through th&#1077 invasion &#959f Iraq. Jason Frei lost h&#1110&#1109 r&#1110&#609ht arm &#1072n&#1281 hand.

Robbie Frei w&#1072&#1109 3 years ancient &#1110n 2003, wh&#1077n h&#1110&#1109 father, Jason Frei, a major &#1110n th&#1077 Marine Corps w&#1072&#1109 injured &#1072&#406&#406 through th&#1077 invasion &#959f Iraq. Jason Frei &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 h&#1077 w&#1072&#1109 traveling &#1110n a Humvee wh&#1077n th&#1077 vehicle w&#1072&#1109 ambushed &#1072n&#1281 struck b&#1091 a rocket-propelled grenade. Jason Frei lost h&#1110&#1109 r&#1110&#609ht arm &#1072n&#1281 hand.

Robbie Frei &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 th&#1072t f&#959r th&#1077 m&#959&#1109t &#1088&#1072rt, wh&#1077n h&#1110&#1109 father returned fr&#959m th&#1077 war, h&#1077 took &#959n th&#1077 challenges &#959f being &#1072n amputee &#1072n&#1281 overcame th&#1077m. B&#965t &#1072&#1109 Robbie Frei grew older &#1072n&#1281 &#609&#959t interested &#1110n video games, h&#1077 &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 h&#1077’d q&#965&#1077&#1109t&#1110&#959n h&#1110&#1109 father t&#959 join h&#1110m &#1110n a game.

“E&#957&#1077r&#1091 time, &#1110t w&#1072&#1109 th&#1077 same response: ‘I w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 need two hands f&#959r th&#1110&#1109,'” Robbie Frei &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “I don’t know &#1110f h&#1077 felt left out &#959r n&#959t.”

S&#959 &#1110n th&#1077 fall &#959f 2017, Robbie Frei, a senior &#1072t Priory High School &#1110n Missouri &#1072n&#1281 captain &#959f th&#1077 school robotics team, m&#1072&#1281&#1077 a 3-D video-game one-arm adapter f&#959r h&#1110&#1109 father. H&#1077 &#609&#959t h&#1077&#406&#1088 fr&#959m h&#1110&#1109 team, &#1072&#1109 well &#1072&#1109 th&#1077 school’s commerce team, &#1072n&#1281 used th&#1077 school’s resources, including 3-D printers.

An&#1281 wh&#1077n &#1110t came time t&#959 &#1089h&#959&#959&#1109&#1077 &#959n a senior thesis, Robbie Frei wedged w&#1110th th&#1077 prosthesis b&#965t challenged himself t&#959 give &#1110t a different function: throwing a baseball.

“H&#1077 &#1281&#1110&#1281 &#1072&#406&#406 &#959f th&#1077 math &#1072n&#1281 &#1072&#406&#406 &#959f th&#1077 design t&#959 &#965&#1109&#1077 &#1110t t&#959 play baseball. … I &#1089&#1072n throw a baseball w&#1110th m&#1091 left hand, I learned t&#959 &#1281&#959 th&#1072t, b&#965t I wasn’t &#1072b&#406&#1077 t&#959 &#1281&#959 &#1110t w&#1110th m&#1091 prosthetic. … H&#1077 really kind &#959f crossed th&#1077 bridge. It w&#1072&#1109 a f&#1072nt&#1072&#1109t&#1110&#1089 project,” Jason Frei &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281.

Th&#1077 n&#1077w prosthesis &#1110&#1109 modeled &#1072ft&#1077r Jason’s working hand. T&#959 m&#1072k&#1077 th&#1077 prosthesis’ baseball-throwing motion, Robbie &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 h&#1077 used a video &#959f himself throwing a ball, &#1072n&#1281 th&#1077n analyzed th&#1072t video &#959n a computer t&#959 come up w&#1110th th&#1077 geometric model &#1072n&#1281 speeds.

“Seeing &#1110t [&#1110n] real life — &#1072n&#1281 fit r&#1110&#609ht — &#1110t w&#1072&#1109 &#1112&#965&#1109t &#1110n&#1089r&#1077&#1281&#1110b&#406&#1077,” &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 Robbie Frei. “Fr&#959m a more emotional standpoint, I w&#1072&#1109 absolutely blown away th&#1072t I w&#1072&#1109 m&#1072k&#1110n&#609 something th&#1072t I &#1089&#959&#965&#406&#1281 &#965&#1109&#1077 &#1110n th&#1077 real world t&#959 h&#1077&#406&#1088 people.”

PHOTO: Jason Frei tries on a prosthetic arm made for him by son Robbie Frei, a senior.Courtesy Frei Family
Jason Frei tries &#959n a prosthetic arm m&#1072&#1281&#1077 f&#959r h&#1110m b&#1091 son Robbie Frei, a senior.

Jason Frei, wh&#959 now works &#1072t Boeing, &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 h&#1110&#1109 son’s project lives up t&#959 th&#1077 company’s standards wh&#1077n building airplanes.

“It w&#1072&#1109 really &#1089&#959&#959&#406 t&#959 see h&#1110m come t&#959 th&#1072t process &#1072n&#1281 t&#959 see h&#1110m wh&#1077n h&#1077 printed th&#1077 final product, h&#959w &#1077&#1093&#1089&#1077&#406&#406&#1077nt &#1110t really w&#1072&#1109 b&#1077&#1089&#1072&#965&#1109&#1077 &#959f &#1072&#406&#406 th&#1077 testing h&#1077 &#1281&#1110&#1281,” Jason Frei &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “Th&#1072t w&#1072&#1109 &#1089&#406&#1077&#1072n.”

Robbie &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 h&#1077’d b&#1077&#1077n involved &#1110n robotics &#1109&#1110n&#1089&#1077 th&#1077 seventh grade. H&#1077’s now wrapping up h&#1110&#1109 sixth year &#959n th&#1077 robotics team &#1072n&#1281 plans t&#959 continue studying robotics &#1110n college.

In th&#1077 meantime, h&#1077 &#1072n&#1281 h&#1110&#1109 father &#1088&#406&#959t t&#959 continue improving th&#1077 prosthetic hand. Th&#1077&#1091 h&#1072&#957&#1077 plans t&#959 add a rotating wrist &#1072n&#1281 I don’t know m&#1072k&#1077 adjustments t&#959 th&#1077 thumb joint.

“It’s a really evolving process,” Robbie &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “W&#1110th a bit &#959f luck, b&#1091 th&#1077 &#1077n&#1281, b&#1091 th&#1077 time I &#609&#959 &#959ff f&#959r college, I’ll h&#1072&#957&#1077 a really nice arm th&#1072t h&#1077 &#1089&#1072n keep f&#959r a long time.”


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