Weather Forecast


Haitian man travels to Fargo to get a 3D-printed prosthetic arm

Jacquelin Joseph, 29, lost his left arm in a farm accident 22 years ago. The Haitian man recently came to Fargo where he received a prosthetic arm made with a 3D printer. WDAY-TV photo

FARGO — A young man from Haiti has reason to celebrate thanks to an army of volunteers who brought him to Fargo to receive a prosthetic arm.

Jacquelin Joseph, 29, lost his left arm in a farm accident 22 years ago. And he has been serving as a translator for Fargo-Moorhead Medical Mission teams that travel yearly to his impoverished village to perform surgeries.

Joseph recently found himself in the middle of a workshop, buzzing with tech talk. Josh Teigen and Cooper Bierscheid, owners of a Fargo prosthetics firm called Protosthetics, were measuring and calculating the geometry and physics of Joseph's upper body in order to fit him with a 3D-printed arm.

Joseph lost his arm in a sugar cane press, which is similar to a wood chipper. He never let the loss of a limb limit his work ethic, but some everyday practical things were hard.

Altru's Paul Edman, a certified prosthetist from Grand Forks, joined others in donating time and expertise to help Joseph get a functional arm.

Overnight, the team turned on the 3D printer and the half dozen parts of the arm were made. Joseph was fitted with a socket, elbow, forearm, wrist and device he can manipulate with his shoulders.

Before heading back to Haiti, the Altru team glued, drilled, cut and tweaked the new 3D-printed limb to get a good fit.

For Joseph, it changed his life.

Dr. Lance Bergstrom, a Fargo eye doctor, helped in bringing Joseph here from Haiti. Bergstrom and his eye team will join the Medical Mission team in the first two months of the year, performing surgery in Joseph's village.