Iron Man Gives Boy Own Bionic Arm
Robert Downey Jr’s latest reprise in his role of Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, has hit the web and this one is rather moving! The video is part of The Collective Project, Microsoft’s showcase of work from students in the US who are making positive changes for their communities.
Here’s the full story…
Alex Pring is a seven-year-old boy from Florida, in the US. When he was born, only his left arm was fully developed, but traditional prosthetic limbs can cost in the region of $40,000 (£27,000). Obviously, that is a lot of money for a family who can’t afford it, especially for a growing boy who would need to have regular replacements.
This is where Limbitless Solutions comes in – an organisation that designs and creates 3D-printed low-cost prosthetic limbs and donates them to children in need.
Limbitless Solutions’ Senior Director is mechanical engineering doctoral student Albert Manero, from the University of Florida. He and his team have been working with Alex since last July; they learned about the boy’s lifetime dream of having two arms and began striving to make that dream come true.
Eight weeks after that first meeting, Alex received his first arm, and from that moment, his life changed. “He is confident now,” said Alex’s mother, according to the Limbitless website. “He has two arms, and he doesn’t feel different anymore.”
Later on, his mechanical arm was upgraded to resemble that of a Transformer, something he’s a huge fan of!
But Alex’s amazing tale doesn’t end there! Like any other boy his age, Alex loves superheroes – so you can imagine how he reacted when he was given a new arm by Iron Man himself!
Robert Downey Jr had heard about Alex and wanted to get involved somehow. So, a surprise meeting was set up in a hotel room.
So as not to raise Alex’s suspicions, his mom told him that they were visiting the hotel to meet with Albert and a “specialist” who has been working on a new arm for him. Alex didn’t think to question it, and little did he know that this expert his mother spoke of was Tony Stark!
On entering the hotel room and meeting the actor, Alex couldn’t stop smiling. Of course, Alex wasn’t fooled and knew he was meeting Robert Downey Jr, not Tony Stark, but he couldn’t have been happier with his surprise. Especially so when the actor brought out two arm cases created by the prop master for the Marvel movies, one for himself, and a smaller one for Alex’s mechanical arm.
Mr Downey Jr later posted on Facebook about the meeting, complete with a heartwarming video of their encounter, which you can check out below!