A picture is worth 1,000 words. That may sound cliché, but for Srey Noun, a 17-year-old Cambodian girl born without hands or feet, the smile captured on camera when she was presented with custom made prosthetic hands revealed a life-changing experience. The hands, custom-created using a 3D printer by Brother Rice High School engineering student Liam Coughlin, were delivered to Srey by Beverly/Morgan Park resident Paul Duggan at the end of March.
Srey is a student at a school supported by Love Without Boundaries (LWB), charitable organization that provides to humanitarian assistance to children in China, Cambodia, India and Uganda. Duggan, a Brother Rice alum, has been supporting LWB since its founding in 2003, and is a LWB emeritus chair. It was his idea to bring together Coughlin and the Brother Rice engineering curriculum with the young girl in Cambodia. Read the complete background story in The Villager. https://bapa.org/student-project-is-a-labor-of-love-without-boundaries/
Duggan traveled to the small town of Poi Pet. Cambodia to meet Srey and, with the help of LWB staff and volunteers, present the prosthetic hands. The Brother Rice/Love Without Boundaries project was a perfect fit! Within a few minutes, Srey was learning to use her new hands.
Srey wasn’t the only student to receive gifts from Brother Rice High School and local supporters of LWB. Duggan had so many gifts, he brought six suitcases to Cambodia! Each of the nearly 225 children received a stuffed animal and/or Brother Rice t-shirt; little girls were given handmade dresses. View all of the pictures from the trip in Paul Duggan’s photo album https://photos.app.goo.gl/2JmkowH6fCGCqMyM6
LWB works every day to offer “hope and healing to orphaned and vulnerable children.” To learn more about their mission and how you can help, visit the Love Without Boundaries website https://www.lovewithoutboundaries.com/
Last year, the not-for-profit organization provided more than 1300 medical procedures and 92,000 hot lunches, as well as education for more than 700 children. LWB also offers healing homes for the children undergoing medical procedures, foster care and other services that put the needs of children first.
Paul Duggan remains very involved in the organization’s mission to offer “hope and healing to orphaned and vulnerable children.” He has witnessed how the work being done by LWB changes the lives of so many children, and had adopted the motto: “One Child at a Time.”
Brother Rice High School has always offered top notch education as well as a commitment to charitable acts. Duggan reached out to the school to support LWB. Through their homerooms, students donate a small amount each month toward the care of a child being served by LWB.
When Duggan was introduced to the capabilities of the recently added engineering curriculum at Brother RIce, he instantly recognized a way to fill a very specific need: creating a prosthetic hand for a girl born without hands or feet who attends a LWB school in Cambodia.
Brother Rice senior engineering student Liam Coughlin is leading the project, and assisting him is Matteo Valencia, a member of the Advocacy Club. Both students are part of Rice’s award-winning robotics team.
The young men are using a manual developed by last year’s seniors, the first class to use 3D printers to create prosthetic hands. Last year, students made several “generic” hands which were donated to a not-for-profit organization in South Carolina. The hands have articulated joints, and are wired, so movements in the wrist enable the fingers and thumb to bend, making the prosthetics are functional.
Creating hands custom-made for an individual and using measurements provided by the young girl’s medical team in Cambodia has been challenging and rewarding for Coughlin and Valencia. Coughlin has devoted many after-school hours to creating three prosthetic right hands so the recipient can use the one that fits best and offers the most dexterity.
According to Daniel Mostyn, Science and Engineering teacher and moderator of the Robotics Team, Coughlin’s work has taken the program to a much more sophisticated level.
Duggan will bring the prosthetic hand to the young girl in March, and he has high hopes that this very special delivery will not only change the life of a young girl, but lead to even more life-changing opportunities for the children in LWB schools across the world and the dedicated students at Brother Rice High School to connect.