It was the most unlikely of circumstances when Sol Ryan was born. Two years ago just before the solar eclipse, his mother went into labor and gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. His parents were overjoyed, but then something went wrong.
A blood clot formed in his arm and began to severely damage the muscle tissue. The next ten days were agonizing, as the two new parents looked on as their newborn son's arm decayed. Finally, the doctors were able to amputate it.
His father, Ben Ryan, remembers it like it was yesterday. "It was a massive relief seeing this hideous thing that was attached to him and dying suddenly gone," he says. But as time went on, he realized his son would miss out on a lot of life without his left arm.
Sol was going to have to wait a whole year before he was issued a standard prosthetic limb, with a rigid socket and silicone hand, unable to move his fingers. At the time, there was no market for fully-functioning prosthetic limbs for infants.
So Ryan Sr. decided to take it upon himself to make one on his own.
Ben Ryan was a psychology teacher at the time, but that didn't stop him from switching fields to research all he could on robotics.
After coming up with his design, he had it 3D-printed and placed it on his son's shoulder. He immediately smiled and got straight to using it! But that's not the best part.
Because he can print the materials so cheaply, Ryan has started giving away his prosthetics to families across the world. Hundreds have reached out to him, and he plans to continue giving it away instead of registering it as a medical device, which would mean having to sell it at an expensive price.