Apache Junction girl given prosthetic arm; her story featured on TLC show

Posted: Updated:
APACHE JUNCTION, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A young Apache Junction girl received a life-changing gift this week.

Seven-year-old Rumi Walsh got a new prosthetic arm.

Rumi was born without a right hand and forearm.

But thanks to the "More Foundation," Rumi now has a specially-made prosthetic arm which will allow her to swim, climb, and brush her hair with her twin sister Halo.

"I can pick up a shell. Or pick up something that mama drops sometimes," said Rumi.

This special prosthetic actually works with Rumi's elbow and is created from a 3D printer.

"This is a very cost-effective thing," said Rumi's mom, Caryn Walsh. "With traditional prosthetic devices, there's casting, there's machinery; it's a process that's really intense," she said. And that's not to mention the fittings and occupational therapy.

"A traditional prosthetic is very expensive, particularly for children who grow very quickly and grow out of them. So insurance companies rarely, if ever, cover prosthetics," said Dr. Marc Jacofsky with the More Foundation.

But Jacofsky says it's important that Rumi is able to use a prosthetic at a young age.

"When you're denied a prosthetic in your young years when you're growing and developing, you don't develop certain motor control and connections between the brain and the hand that you would normally develop. So by giving a prosthetic to a child, you can form those connections and really learn how to use that prosthetic," said Dr. Jacofsky.

Rumi's family was featured this week on an episode of TLC's "This is Life Live."

The show follows the personal journeys of families experiencing an extraordinary circumstance on live TV.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.