Watch: Chinese farmer builds bionic arms for fellow amputees


TORONTO – A Chinese farmer who lost both his hands in an accident has turned his misfortune into a family business.

According to NTD.TV, Sun Jifa lost his hands when fishing explosives went off prematurely in his home nine years ago.

Unable to afford the cost of prosthetic arms at a local hospital, Sun began to craft his own steel bionic pair after a low-grade pair he purchased made it difficult to conduct daily chores and routines around his farm.

“It transfers power from the natural movement of my elbow into the finger, allowing it to grab and hold,” said Sun in an interview with NTD.TV. “This is the left hand. For the other hand, rotating the two bones that I have left in this arm allows my right hand to open and close like this.”

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Shortly after, local amputees began to request a pair of their own prosthetics.

“Mr. Sun’s artificial hand feels good to me,” said Li Yanzhong, a fellow farmer in China’s northern Jilin province and an amputee. “When I go home, it will help me a lot with operating work machinery. Normal prosthetic arms only have a superficial function when operating machinery. They don’t have much strength. But this artificial hand will be very useful in using machines and doing other work.”

Sun’s story first made international headlines in August last year after he completed his own prosthetic pair and vowed to make similar ones for disabled people.

According to Sun, he has already sold around 1,000 steal limbs for about $490 USD—one tenth the cost of what many hospitals charge for higher-quality prosthetics.

“By using these hands, I can help the family with chores. I can do some farm work,” said Sun. “I’m not useless. I really feel a weight has lifted. I feel I’m not a freeloader. I can be useful.”