IU lecturer creates 3-D arm for Bloomington girl born without her right arm

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - A 9-year-old Bloomington girl has a new arm thanks to an Indiana University lecturer who stepped up to help.

Jon Racek put his 3-D printing skills to use after Violet Hall's mom posted a plea for help on Facebook.

Violet hall was born without a right arm. It was a shock to her parents who never gave up on options for their little girl.

"A little blurb on Facebook asking of anyone knows anything about 3-D printing and luckily Jon Racek one of our friends said hey I know how to do this let me help you out," Violet's mom, Milet said.

The family was curious about 3-D printing after attending the IU Science Fest last Fall. Little did they know they knew the man who could help them all along. Jon is also a family friend.

"The reason that I do the work that I do is because I want to be meaningful and I know the power of design and I know it can have a major impact," IU School of Art & Design Lecturer, Jon Racek said.

Jon got to work on Violet's new hand and he even let her personally choose the colors and a design on top. He used the 3-D printer in the school's new MadLab. Just a few months later Violet's life changed.

"I was really excited and happy because I didn't know it would turn out like exactly like my design. In my mind I was like oh my gosh that's so cool," Violet said.

Now she's able to pick up a water bottle and pack her lunch with ease. And she's ready to tackle more with her new found independence.

"I was really excited because I didn't know what it would feel like to be able to have fingers on this arm. At school I want to learn how to pick up a pencil and like write with this hand," Violet said.

And take on more responsibility like cleaning and walking her dog. A new beginning that has brought this family joy.

It's just wonderful to see you really can't anything for granted. Every moment is a blessing," Milet said.

The family tried several other options over the years and nothing was truly comfortable with Violet. With her new 3-D arm she says her next adventure will be learning to play the violin.