When U.S. Navy Veteran Quan Taylor found out about the 3D printer at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa, Florida, he immediately knew what to ask for.

“A bullet came out of my back but I couldn’t keep it, so I asked Jamie if he could print me a bullet so I could remember what I went through,” he said.

Now, he’s hoping to design an adaptive game controller so he can play video games with one of his friends, a fellow VA patient who has limited use of his hands.

Jamie Kaplan, a VA recreational therapist says that the ability to create with the 3D printer has changed the way his Veteran patients think. Now, they are no longer limited to available adaptive devices but rather what they can imagine.

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Injured Warriors Fund Florida and the TAMCO Foundation donated the 3D printer and Kaplan has taught himself how to use the device using open source software.

While 3D printers are not common in VA hospitals yet, that could change.

“Every VA in the country is a teaching hospital, a lot of people don’t realize that many medical advancements started in the VA system,” Kaplan said.

As of now, the printed products are small, but provide hope to provide Veterans of what is possible.

“You can do anything. Don’t let your wheelchair or situation limit you in the things that you do,” Quan said.

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Published on Sep. 30, 2015

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10 Comments

  1. Billy October 18, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    i rather have the money also! We Vets need money more than toys.

  2. William October 5, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    Money would be better spent hiring more people to process claims that can sometime take years for a disposition. You have men and women passing away before they get an answer.

    I was told, it takes on average of 45 days each time a Vets paper work changes hands.

    I put in a claim for an increase on my disability for service connected kidney disease and was told I could possibly have to wait up to 3 years just for a answer.

  3. RONALD October 5, 2015 at 11:48 am

    READ LAST ONE I SENT WITH YOUR 3D

  4. ronald October 5, 2015 at 11:44 am

    how does the va think this is good since my tour in nam 65 68 I have had prostate cancer my lungs are going 2 comas in last 2 years and my health is going fast lost 4 friends to suicide and you want to waste money on this CMON MAN GET REAL helpbefore its to LATE RESPOND

  5. Jeane October 2, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    What brand was the printer

  6. bruce d johnson October 2, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    please help Rebecca K. Henderson. I don’t know her or anything of her history, but, I do know that if she is a vet she deserves the health care promised her and all vets upon their enlistment or induction.

  7. James W Strickland October 2, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    I like the VA innovations but I would rather see money spent on better care for ALL Veterans. I know my prostate cancer stemmed from my tour at Utapao, Thailand when Agent Orange was sprayed after the enemy attacked and damaged B52s on our flight line. Being the training NCO for the 307th AMS, I worked when the engines were repaired and had to visit areas where chemicals were stored. No service connection granted because I didnt enter Vietnam at least one day. I still suffer.

  8. Rebecca K Henderson October 2, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Although a 3-D printer sounds nice to learn to use, I would rather money be spent on good doctors that will fix my back, neck, knee, ankle, and a few other issues like skin cancer, and how about the two valves in my hear that is regurgitating. I personally don’t understand why all I hear, after a request to see a professional on the outside, is “all of your test results are normal”, or “there isn’t anything we can do for you”, or “they ( the VA) won’t pay for it because it is a 50/50 chance and not worth it.”

    Take care of these issues for me before I get too old to do them. That is, rather than investing in 3-D printers at VA hospitals. Please, take care of me before this.

    • Randall Fitzgerald October 2, 2015 at 2:17 pm

      Agree!

      • Bruce Erdman October 4, 2015 at 12:30 pm

        50/50 isn’t good enough.

Comments are closed.

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