Eighth grader receives prosthetic arm built by classmates, teachers

Eighth grader receives prosthetic arm built by classmates, teachers1/2)
Published: Apr. 7, 2017 at 8:22 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 7, 2017 at 8:48 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - An eighth grade student's life has been changed forever, all thanks to his classmates and teachers.

Basketball is a sport that takes coordination.

Dontavius Morris, 14, lives for the game and he does it with only one hand – and he does it well.

"I can do all the moves that people with both hands can do," Dontavius said.

Dontavius was born without an arm due to a birth defect. On Friday, his life changed as he tried on his brand new prosthetic arm, built entirely with a 3D printer.

"It was very exciting and really strange at the time because I thought I could never do something like that," Dontavius said.

For the first time in his life, Dontavius used a right arm to pick up a cup, high five, and touch a football. Teachers and students at the Memphis School of Excellence worked together for three months to build this prosthetic specifically for him.

"He will have more self-esteem and he can play better," said Muhammet Turkay, with Memphis School of Excellence. "We test with the balls, he can grab the balls. There is actually small plastics here that actually grabs the balls."

"It brings change in his life," said Dontavius' mother Natasha Morris. "It's amazing, it's amazing. I really love them. This school is amazing.>

Prosthetics can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000, but this one is much cheaper.

"It's like $50-$55," Turkay said.

The school wants to use this technology to help people across Memphis.

"And our long-term goal is not just help Dontavius but the other students in Memphis," Turkay said. "We want to help as many people as we can."

Dontavius said he wants to have one effect on others.

"Inspire other people that have disabilities," Dontavius said.

He plans to do that by achieving his own goals.

"Being a basketball player, making it to the NBA," Dontavius said.

Now Dontavius can start grabbing that dream.

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