"It feels like a part of me that was lost has returned."
Juan Suquillo lost his left hand in a war between Peru and his native Ecuador. But a unique prosthetic developed by Loyola alumnus Aadeel Akhtar (BS '07, MS '08) has changed Suquillo's life.
Of the 11.4 million people with hand amputations worldwide, less than 3% have access to adequate prosthetics.
In 1994, 7-year-old Akhtar visited his ancestral homeland of Pakistan and met one of these amputees.
"She was my age, using a broken tree branch as a crutch because her leg had been amputated… I wondered how we could share the same ethnic heritage but have such vastly different qualities of life."
In 2013, Akhtar began working on a new type of prosthetic to address this need.
Akhtar started Psyonic with a simple mission: to develop the most affordable, advanced bionic hands for all people with amputations worldwide.
Akhtar credits Loyola with helping him connect his interest in science with his desire to serve others.
"Loyola instilled in me that service is important, and that has been an amazing driving force for me to make sure that what we are building will be of the most benefit to the people who need these hands."