Local teen drummer gets new prosthetic hand

A high school marching band drummer is now rocking out with a 3-D printed hand.

He lost his fingers in a lawnmower accident when he was young.

Now thanks to his teacher and a biomedical engineer, he's playing like never before.

Alex Grice is a natural playing the drum despite missing a finger and a thumb.

“I actually got into a lawnmower accident when I was between 5 and 6-years-old,” Grice said. “It’s a little blurry, one has a little nail thing on it. It’s really cool. But I trimmed it. It looks a little weird.”

Sometimes his injury can make it hard to grip things but for the most part, the 17-year-old marching band student at Meridian High School is optimistic.

“It might be a bit of a challenge I’d say,” Grice said. “But I always step up to the plate.”

So, he stepped up when the marching band needed a bass drummer, though he ran into some difficulty.

“When I started playing I realized it hurt and I was like I need help,” Grice said.

Coincidentally his band teacher’s cousin is training to be a biomedical engineer.

“Ms. DeRees has a pretty talented family I’d say,” Grice said.

And she developed a 3-D printed handmade from what Grice said is “Super cool 3D stuff” and fishing line.

“It’s great, I took it to work a couple days in a row and it just didn’t stop helping me,” Grice said. “I just felt the need to pick things up more often than I used to.”

The designer, Maria Gerardi at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, it’s a great feeling to be able to help him.

“It’s one of those awesome feelings that you don’t want to stop,” Gerardi said. “It’s so cool to see he’s able to do things even better now that he has the extra two fingers."

It’s a process learning how to use it, he’s only had the hand for a couple of days.

“Hopefully once I get better at using it, it will change my music perspective,” Grice said.

Grice is planning on going to Delta College. He wants to start a career in physical therapy.

Gerardia’s goal is to start a non-profit building and creating 3-D printed hands for children.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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