When industrial designer Ernie Meadows and his wife, Marj, lost their daughter, Ellen, in an automobile accident when she was 18 years old, Ernie decided to create a legacy to their daughter’s memory. Originally Ernie intended to design a functional prosthetic hand for children and adolescent land mine victims. Over time he developed a design for a low-cost, light, durable, functional  prosthetic hand. He knew that this would help all who need a prosthetic hand and who could not afford the available alternatives.

In 2006 Ernie gave this prosthetic hand to Rotarian friends, specifically to the Ellen Meadows Prosthetic Hand Foundation, specifying that no one profit from the production or distribution and that no recipient be charged. Only a few hundred prototype LN-4s were built and distributed before 2007, however, during 2007 efforts were devoted largely to the development of sufficient manufacturing capability to produce prosthetic hands in large numbers. This was made possible largely due to the Rotary Clubs of RI District 5160, in northern California, who were instrumental in providing funding support and Rotarian time and effort. Other Rotary clubs and friends also donated money and gave other support, all of which resulted in the successful production of the parts for the LN-4s and the distribution of over 3500 LN-4 hands around the globe.

Since the start of 2008 LN-4s have been distributed to many of the places where research has shown that there is a need for the LN-4. Working with Rotary clubs and other friends, teams have taken LN-4s to many countries in East Africa, Colombia, Ecuador, Vietnam, India, Jordan and more. Smaller numbers of LN-4s have also been carried by travelling Rotarians and other friends to many more places. Teams and individuals are trained in advance to fit the prosthetic hand, and to train the recipient in its use.

LN-4 prosthetic hands are donated by the Ellen Meadows Prosthetic Hand Foundation free of charge to Rotary Jaipur Limb, and have already been fitted at several limb camps and centres in the Indian Sub-Continent and Africa. The recommended amount for those who would like to donate LN-4 prosthetic hands is £50.00 per hand.

LN-4 prosthetic hands being fitted at the 16th Mega Jaipur Limb Camp in Bangalore in January 2013

LN4_12  LN4_09

LN4_11  LN4_14

LN4_15 LN4_18 LN4_17

LN4_01  LN4_02

LN4_05  LN4_06

LN4_07  LN4_08

Visit the LN-4 website: http://www.ln-4.org

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