On November 2, 2019 José Cajamarca , current beneficiary of the Jubilous3D project , was on the verge of death, when a pack of pitbull dogs attacked him in the south of Quito.
“It was a quarter to one when I was walking with a bag of food, and suddenly I feel a dog bite my right leg and kick it. That was fatal. In total there were five dogs, ”he says just two months after the event.
From the third floor , a neighbor saw what was happening and went down to water the animals to scare them away, while Joseph was bleeding on the floor. At this point he had already lost his ears and had been bitten on his face and legs.
Since then he feels the loudest sounds in his eardrums and he is forced to cover himself to avoid discomfort. On the other hand, Anita Calderón, his wife, found a possibility when her brother told her they could help her husband at the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador ( PUCE ).
Jubilous3D, innovative project
Alberto Larrea is the Jubilous3D coordinator who is self-funded and expects the collaboration of public and private companies .
The project is an alternative for those who have lost a member due to illness or accident and those who were born with congenital limb agenesis .
Larrea points out that, according to official statistics, some 250,000 people in the country need exoprosthetics to meet their individual requirements.
In the case of the ears they have designed for Don José , Larrea says, “they are not only aesthetic , but they are functional because they are designed almost perfectly so that sound can enter better.” What they are looking for – he adds – is not that they look pretty, but that they have functionality and become a tool.
The project had been conceptualized two years ago, but started in February 2019. The first thing was to evaluate the designs and the material to be used.
For his part, Larrea explains that the technological equipment with which they work are high-end tested in the laboratory of the Center for Applied Studies in Chemistry ( Cesaq ).
For the design and printing of the exoprosthesis the project uses 3D printers and scanners . In the future, the idea is to grow and begin the impression of bones for implants in the country.
One of the first beneficiaries is Isaac, a child from Quito, who received an external tool produced in Jubilous3D to handle his bicycle. This is because he was born with congenital agenesis in the upper left limb.
David Romero, technical director and researcher of the Center for Applied Studies in Chemistry (Cesaq), of the PUCE , indicated that he valued the insertion in the project after knowing its social component . They analyze the resistance and the degree of toxicity of the materials used in the exoprostheses.
Romero explains that they carry out countless tests to evaluate the toxic derivatives of polymers , because quite long carbon chain structures tend to have deterioration , fractionation and release of small and volatile substances, which can come into contact with the person or be absorbed by the skin.
The project’s communicator, Verónica Restrepo Rojas , highlights that one of the premises of this work is precisely the link with the community and highlights the plus with respect to other initiatives that may exist.
“The project is comprehensive because it has a component of research , service and social assistance and apart from monitoring and psychological support to the beneficiaries,” he says.
Larrea highlights human capital and the training of those in the project . The recipients are committed to co- responsibility and for this they must take care of the exoprosthesis and follow the indications regarding its use.
Part of the process is to evaluate the economic situation of the beneficiary so that this can be financed to those who need it most. Among the beneficiaries of Jubilous3D is a young man who lost a part of his face to whom the project will design a facial prosthesis.
For now, José Cajamarca waits impatiently for his facial prosthesis. “I have a joy that you cannot imagine,” he says excitedly, while his wife looks at him hopefully in a new beginning.