We count on our friends to lend a helping hand from time to time, but for Sergio Peralta, his friends didn’t just lend him a hand — they built an entirely new one for him.
Peralta, a 15-year-old high school student from Nashville, Tenn., was nervous about fitting in at his new school, partially due to his right hand, which had never fully formed.
Speaking to CBS News, Peralta said he showed up at Hendersonville High School on the first day very anxious.
“In the first days of school, I honestly felt like hiding my hand,” he told the outlet. “Like nobody would ever find out.”
His fear, he told local CBS affiliate WVTF, was born from past experiences.
“As I was growing up, like during my first years of school, I had a lot of people ask me what’s wrong with … my hand, lots of people, and I used to just say even in kindergarten, ‘I was born like that.’”
It didn’t take long for someone to learn Peralta’s secret. Jeff Wilkins, Hendersonville’s engineering teacher, figured out that Peralta was missing part of his hand and put his robotics students to work.
Peralta’s classmates spent four weeks designing, sizing and 3D-printing a prosthetic hand for the teen.
Peralta’s first order of business with his new right hand? To catch a baseball for the first time, ever.
Peralta’s robotic hand “is a testament to the students we have here who care about each other and the programme that Jeff Wilkins has built,” school principal Bob Cotter told the BBC.