A 3-Year-Old Boy Born Without Fingers Got an Awesome 'Iron Man' Hand

by John Boone 11:40 AM PDT, September 30, 2014
Photo: Facebook

Rayden Kahae aka “Bubba” is a 3-years-old who lives in Maui with his family. He's just like every other kid — he spends his time playing with his siblings and loves superheroes. The only thing that sets Bubba apart is that he was born without fingers on his right hand.

“Bubba was born with ABS which is Amniotic Band Syndrome,” his grandmother, Rulan Waikiki, told Hawaii’s KHON2. “It’s where the baby’s hands end up without some fingers, some with none, couple little stumps instead of fingers.”

But Bubba knew he was different from the other kids. Rulan says he would look at his sister’s hands and say that he wanted his like her. Recently, that changed: “He wanted an Iron Man hand.”

Rulan thought the family would never be able to afford a $40,000 prosthetic hand, until a few weeks ago when she heard about a company that uses 3-D printing to make mechanical body-powered hands for $50.

That company is E-NABLE, which started as two guys who teamed up to create an affordable prosthetic for a child in South Africa and has turned into a movement of some 1,500 people working to create “hand devices for those in need.”

Not only did they make Bubba his Iron Man hand, but they did it for free.

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According the The Daily News, the hand “relies on wrist movement — if [Bubba] moved his wrist down towards his forearm, the hand closes. If he raises his wrist, the hand opens.”

“He would never want to show it to people,” Bubba’s mom, Rayven Kahae, explains. “Now, he shows it to everybody. He’s so proud...Instead of being teased at school for not having fingers, he is stared at for his cool hand.”

Bubba’s dad filmed the moment his son put on his new hand for the first time.

“As soon as he put it on and was able to close the hand, his face just lit up,” grandma recalls. “I’m not sure if in the video, you can hear it on there, but he does say, ‘I can hold my own hand.’”

“He literally thinks he’s Iron Man,” Bubba’s mom says. “It’s amazing.”