10-year-old Julian Reynoso with burns over a large part of his body, but some college students are helping him recover with technology. A drunk driver crashed into his family’s van in Los Angeles, killing his father and younger siblings and leaving he and his mom with severe injuries, but after spending four months in the hospital with burns on 85% of his body, he’s learning to cope with life as a burn survivor.
Julian’s injuries left him missing all or parts of nine fingers, but a group of students from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo College of Engineering heard about his burns through Quality of Life Plus, a group that connects students with people who have physical disabilities, and they wanted to help. “He couldn’t play with Legos,” explains Ryan Kissinger, one of the students involved.
Knowing he couldn’t enjoy the simple things kids like, he put together a team of eight students, who call themselves Hands for Julian, and they created motorized, prosthetic hands for the kid. Now he has the new bionic hands and student Austin Conrad says, aside from helping Julian, they “also hope to show that there are people out there in the world who are willing to fight to make sure he can actually have a better future.”