by Staff Writers
St. Louis (UPI) Jul 6, 2013
A St. Louis amputee said she's had some fun with her situation, creating a prosthetic leg made of LEGO bricks -- and a video of it that has gone viral.
Christina Stephens' right leg amputated below the knee after a car she was working on slipped off the jack, crushing her foot. After doctors told her of the nerve damage suffered, Stephens said she researched the issue and opted to have her leg amputated.
Since the incident, Stephens -- who works at Washington University as a researcher helping people in wheelchairs gain functionality and operate their chairs without injuring their hands and arms -- has started an online campaign to help amputees adjust to their new lives. She started a Facebook page, Twitter account and YouTube channel for her "AmputeeOT" campaign.
NBC News said when a coworker made the off-handed suggestion she create a LEGO prosthetic, Stephens took up the challenge. Using tubs of the small bricks her mother collected for her as a child, Stephens said the leg took about 2 hours to build.
It isn't practically functional -- the foot falls off when she tries to walk -- but the symbolism has been a hit, with the video drawing 600,000 views and lots of praise.
"Most people get upset when they walk on a lego," one commenter wrote.
Stephens says she has plans for LEGO Leg 2.0, to reinforce the pylon portion with fiber glass and make it a fully functioning prosthetic.
"I'd probably have to stiffen the pylon part, reinforcing it with steel or carbon fiber or something," she said, adding that it would be "super fun" to wear it around town.
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