Doctors fit Marine with custom prosthetic for swimming

Posted: Updated:
EAST MEADOW -

Doctors fitted a Marine from Long Island with a new 3D-printed prosthetic leg Wednesday in East Meadow.

Kevin Vaughan was injured while serving in Afghanistan in 2011. He says the prosthetic leg he was using was not properly made for usage in the water.

“Now, I'll have to readjust my whole swimming technique," he told News 12.

His new leg was custom-printed for Vaughan, and has holes that enable him to push forward in the water.

Vaughan was among a group of people with lower-limb amputations trying out the prosthetic at the aquatic center at Eisenhower Park. Researchers hope that 3D printing prosthetics will make it more accessible to amputees, because swim legs aren't always covered by insurance.

Researchers at Northwell Health say other swim prosthetics can cost as much as $10,000. The custom piece will run about $6,000.

Vaughan says others like him have motivated him to keep challenging himself in and out of the water.

"There's no reason to waste your time sitting down doing nothing. There are so many people worse off than me that have achieved way more than me. That's my motivation to just keep going," he told News 12.

The new prosthetic hasn't been approved by the FDA yet, but Northwell Health is taking preorders.

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