With ingenuity and a 3D printer, Not Impossible has changed the life of a Sudanese boy whose arms were blown off during an airstrike.
MICK Ebeling arrived in Sudan with little more than a toolbox, rolls of plastic and two microwave-size 3D printers.
He had endured a weeklong journey from Los Angeles, with stops in London, Johannesburg and Nairobi before reaching Juba, the capital of South Sudan. From there, he flew in a small twin-engine plane to Yida, where at a refugee camp he found Daniel Omar.
Ebeling, from California, had read a magazine article in 2013 about the 16-year-old whose hands and forearms had been blown off two years ago during an airstrike launched by the Sudanese government. The boy’s plight resonated with Ebeling, who tracked down the remote hospital where Daniel had received treatment. Over Skype, Ebeling told Daniel’s doctor: I think I can help.
After meeting in Yida, Ebeling and Daniel caught an 11-hour ride in the back of a four-wheel drive to Gidel, Sudan, a volatile region in the Nuba Mountains where Daniel’s doctor tends to amputees and other victims of the civil war plaguing the country.
In a small tin shed, Ebeling connected a 3D printer to a laptop. The printer began melting plastic to form three-dimensional pieces, which he then joined together like Lego pieces. He worked off a design created by a carpenter friend who, after accidentally severing four fingers with a table saw, had built his own prosthesis.