24 | JUN | 2019
Man builds a USD $4 prosthesis using PVC pipe
In Mexico, handicapped people lack proper healthcare and financial aid - Photo: Courtesy of EFE

Man builds a USD $4 prosthesis using PVC pipe

Newsroom & Agencies
Mexico City
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His leg was amputated and before he knew it, his life had changed: he was in a wheelchair and lost his job

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Martín Amaro wanted to go back to work and he decided to build his own USD $4 prosthesis using polyvinyl chloride, a versatile construction material.

Almost 8 years ago, Martín lost his left leg on an accident at home, therefore, he used this common material to make his own prosthetic leg.

After an accident in the kitchen that caused him burns on the left leg, which complicated as a result of his diabetes type 2, his leg was amputated and before he knew it, his life had changed. He was now in a wheelchair and he lost his job in the maintenance department at a hotel.

Martín wanted to go back to work and support his mother but the amputation had limited him in some ways, that's when he decided to build his low-cost prosthesis.

He currently works at a private property where he does all kinds of activities such as gardening, plumbing, pool cleaning, and runs errands by driving a motorcycle.


Unfortunately, although he has a job, he can't afford to buy better prosthesis.

Moreover, doctors have told him that his hand-made prosthesis is not safe to use because it could cause irreversible damage in his blood vessels and that could lead to another amputation procedure.

Martín explained that this was his only option as prosthesis “were too expensive, they were over MXN $20,000”.

In the last weeks, Martín's case has gone viral on social media because a friend took a picture of his prosthesis and “uploaded it and several people wanted to support me to buy an original prosthesis but it wasn't possible and I made a video trying to explain that if (someone) needed a prostheses like the one I made out of PVC, I could help them, they only needed to send me the money for the materials and the shipping costs.”

Several people contacted Martín and he sent his PVC prostheses to Veracruz, Chihuahua, Lázaro Cárdenas, and Mexico City.

There is a handicapped person in at least 15% of homes in Acapulco and 99% of them don't have a job and can't afford to fulfill their basic needs.

Although Martín was resourceful and build his own prosthesis so he could go back to work, his case emphasizes that handicapped people in Mexico lack healthcare and financial support from local and federal governments.


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