Emman Levelle was born with her legs up by her ears, her shoulders were internally rotated, her fingers were deviated and she had rocker-bottom feet. Her condition was diagnosed by doctors as arthrogryposis multiplex congential, a rare disease. Now 4 year old Emma, who once couldn’t use her arms would be able to pick up toys for the first time with the help of a 3D printer.
Arthrogryposis is a genetic condition that causes muscles to be abnormally developed and joints to be stiff, according to the Boston Children's Hospital. Emma; s legs were re-casted by doctors and then began her development but she still couldn’t regain the ability in her arms.
The turning point came when Emma’s mom visited a medical conference where she got to know about robotic exoskeleton or WREX. WREX is a body-powered exoskeleton that attaches to either a person's wheelchair or a body jacket that is currently sold by JAECO Orthopedics. She then enrolled Emma for treatment with Dr. Tariq Rahman, the device maker and director of the center for orthopedic research and development at the Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del. The WREX which was built with metal parts however was too big for 25 pound Emma but was later custom designed and enabled her to use her arm for the first time.