Man creates DIY prosthetic limbs after losing hands

China - Thirty-two years ago, Chinese farmer Sun Jifa, 51, lost his forearms in a dynamite fishing accident when a blast-fishing explosive detonated prematurely.

He could not afford to buy the prosthetic hands recommended by the hospital, but was desperately in need of hands to work on the family farm to feed his family.

"I survived but I had no hands and I couldn't afford to buy the false hands the hospital wanted me to have - so I decided to make my own,'" he told the Croatian Times.

Instead of wallowing in his plight, the enterprising man from Guanmashan, Jilin province, northern China, instead decided to build himself his own set of prosthesis from scratch.

He spent eight years in total developing a working model that would allow him to grip, hold and mimic other hand movements with a system of wires and pulleys inside the prosthesis's shell.

He spent two years guiding his two nephews to build him prosthesis from scrap metal, plastic and rubber.

He can control the movements of his hands from his elbows so well that he can feed himself, wash his face and even work in the fields.

However, he told reporters that the one drawback is that the steel is relatively heavy, so it is tiring for him to wear them for long periods of time. In addition, the steel can get quite cold in the winter and burning hot in the summer.

Over the years, Sun and his nephews have built about 300 prosthetic limbs for people in need, charging 3000 RMB ($585) each.

"I made this from scrap metal for virtually nothing. There is no need to pay hospitals a fortune,' he said.

Xinhua reported that an estimated 24 million people in China have limb disabilities.

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