A Chinese amputee who earned the nickname “Iron Leg Man” has shared the designs of his customized high-tech prosthetic leg so that other amputees can improve their artificial limbs.
Liang Kaiyu, 30, told Chinese state media CCTV on Sunday that in addition to creating his own prosthetic leg, he also modified it by adding LED lights, shock absorbers and a self-charging interface.
“It’s 2022, and I can finally wear an artificial leg that I made myself. Although it looks a bit ugly, it is unique and meaningful to me,” Liang, a former industry equipment designer, said in a Douyin post that has already received more than 430,000 likes.
Liang lost his left leg following a work-related injury in January 2020. He recalled that his life was “like riding a roller coaster” for several months after the amputation.
“In one moment, I would feel like life was beautiful and I had hope for the future, then the next moment I hid under my blanket and cried,” Liang told CCTV.
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He eventually found hope and motivation after finding videos of other disabled people doing everyday activities, such as riding bicycles and walking around, using their prosthetics.
“My attention shifted from my leg to how I should live in the future,” he said.
Liang started learning how to use a prosthetic leg and eventually got into modifications to make his artificial limb more comfortable and user-friendly. To gain more knowledge and experience, he told CCTV that he disassembled different prosthetics he acquired from both China and overseas.
He then added shock absorbers and a magnetic charging interface, explaining that he experienced issues with loss of power and leg muscle imbalance. He eventually included LED lights to make the prosthetic leg more visible at night.
The father of two told CCTV that he hopes his modified limb will motivate other amputees to wear their prosthetics openly.
“People normally do not want others to see they use an artificial limb, but I want to let more people see what I am using. I want to promote the idea that those living with prosthetic legs are the same as healthy people,” he was quoted as saying.
To help make this possible, Liang posted his designs online so that prosthetic manufacturers and other amputees can use them.