Turkish Student Creates His Own Prosthesis

Fourteen-year-old Deniz Kazak's, homemade prosthetic leg ranked among the top 100 out of 70,000 projects submitted to the Bu Benim Eserim-This Is My Creation-contest, which was organized by the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK). Kazik, who had a left transtibial amputation following a car accident nine years ago, has offered hope to other people with disabilities after he developed a homemade prosthesis that cost only ten Turkish liras (US $6.35).

The seventh-grader, whose dream is to become a doctor, lives in Gülpınar, Turkey, in the Gaziantep lli province, not far from the Aegean Sea. Uncomfortable with the prosthetic leg he had been using, Kazak decided to make his own, employing a piece of plastic water piping, packing tape, a plastic boot, slippers, a cord, a cuff, and string from a sofa bed, and entered it into the TÜBİTAK contest, according to an article in the Hürriet, Turkey, Daily News & Economic Review.

Kazak's realization that the lower part of the leg resembles a pipe led him to try and make a prosthesis out of plastic pipe. "I tried it, and managed to create it. I have been using this for the last eight years, and I have never experienced any problems with it," he was quoted as saying.

The price of the prosthesis is its biggest advantage, according to Kazak, who said that most currently available prostheses in Turkey cost between 2,000 and 5,000 liras (US $1,259 and $3,147). In addition, he said, his model is readily adjustable with a cord.

"I wanted to prove that people with handicaps can be successful," he concluded.