Catholic High student dream comes true, thanks to engineering students at LSU

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BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)-  James Robert III was born with half of a palm and no fingers on his left hand. Due to his condition James was unable to be the athlete he wanted to be.

James is now effectively weight lifting, playing football and basketball all thanks to some engineering students at LSU. The students spent eight months designing a prosthetic hand for James.

“Thank you so much, like this has opened so many doors for me and given me a whole new world to look at,” James said.

The situation was presented to the students when  LSU Kinesiology Professor of Professional Practice and Athletic Training Program Director Ray Castle met James at Catholic High. James mentioned he was trying to build his own prosthetic in order to help him with his training, but Castle had a better idea.

“He has rapidly gotten stronger over the last couple of months using the prosthetic,” Castle said.

Cecillia McAlear, one of the students on the project says working with James was the most fulfilling thing she has done.

“I helped a very gracious and talented person fulfill one of their goals and one of their dreams, I mean is there anything greater than that,” she said.

James is now able to do activities in the gym and field he once never imagined, liked benching pressing, and heavy weight lifting.

“I personally don’t believe in disabilities, the only disability we have is the one we give our self’s,” James said.

The athlete wants to share this feeling with others in similar situations.

James is currently working at Red Stick Orthopedic and plans to major in engineering so he can one day make prosthetics for others.

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