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Friday, May 24, 2024

Ex-marine who lost his arm in Afghanistan gets superhero-like prosthetic – which allows him to lift up to 400 lbs

An ex-marine who lost his arm in Afghanistan has got a custom superhero-like prosthetic replacement – which allows him to lift up to 400 lbs. Cpl. Sebastian Guadalupe Gallegos, 32, came up with the idea of an aluminum and carbon-fiber arm after he broke 15 conventional prosthetic ones. Sebastian had his friend George Schroeder, an engineer, manufacture the custom arm a year and half ago. Now, Sebastian is able to box, lift weights and even care for his son better. Sebastian, of San Antonio, Texas, USA, said: “It’s the only prosthetic that I can do things with and trust it.” Sebastian is outdoorsy and independent, so he struggled to adapt after losing his arm in Afghanistan in 2010 after being hit by improvised explosive device (IED). He has since had a total 15 prosthetic arms, which broke during simple, everyday tasks such as carrying groceries. Sebastian says that ordinary prosthetics suffer from being designed to look like human limbs, which makes them fragile. He said: My new arm doesn’t look like an arm. A lot of prosthetics look natural and that’s why they’re so fragile. They’re so small. “Grocery bags will break them. It’s the torque motion when they swing back and forth or carrying water jugs.” His new arm is made entirely from aluminum and carbon-fibre and has abandoned looking like a human arm for durability. It outperforms his older ones in every way. He can now lift weights as heavy as 180 kg (400 lbs) when before his arms struggled with 2 kgs (5 lbs). Sebastian said: “The most I’ve dead-lifted was 400 lbs, 75 pounds is what I’ve pulled safely. “The other prosthetics would be able to lift maybe three to five pounds. It’s a different stratosphere strength-wise.” Besides being able to lift heavier goods, Sebastian’s new arms have made a huge difference with one-year-old son Xolo Gallegos. Sebastian said: “Being a dad is the actual reason I’m most grateful for the prosthetic. When I carry my son I’m almost exclusively using the prosthetic. “He loves it. It’s really cute. He thinks people with both arms are the weirder ones. He even fist-bumps me with it.” Sebastian’s new arm has also earned him a lot of unexpected attention on social-media app TikTok and viewers often compare him to The Winter Soldier, a Marvel superhero.

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