The University of Central Florida and Orlando City Soccer Club partnered together Friday to present a 6-year-old Brazilian boy with a bionic arm to call his own, at no cost to the family.
Paulo Costa Boa Nova made the trip with his father from Brazil to Orlando, covered in full by Orlando Health, to meet the creators of his soon-to-be new arm. Paulo was discovered to have been born with a genetic defect that led to a complication in the growth of his arm.
Limbitless Solutions, a team founded by UCF doctoral students in the summer of 2014, created a 3-D printed right arm specific for Paulo, and designed the arm to feature one of Brazil’s soccer teams.
The student-led non-profit along with Orlando City Soccer Club held the presentation of the bionic arm to Paulo in Sanford, where Orlando City’s Brazilian team captain Ricardo Kaká joined his teammates in congratulating Paulo and Limbitless Solutions.
Following the first bionic arm created by Limbitless Solutions, for a then six-year-old Alex Pring, and a featured video of Pring and Robert Downy Jr. as “Iron Man,” the requests for a new arms and hands have reached an international level. Paulo became the first to receive an international delivery of a bionic arm by the Limbitless Solutions team.
“I don’t have the words for how grateful we are,” said Claudio Boa Nova, Paulo’s father. “When I saw arms they do on YouTube, I hold onto hope for the opportunity for my son. I can’t believe today, his dreams came true.”
Alex Pring and his mother attended Paulo’s memorable presentation at the Orlando City soccer training facility, where he and Paulo shook hands and kicked soccer balls to one another with members of the Orlando City team, including Lions’ goalkeeper Tally Hall and defender Aurélien Collin.
Orlando City Soccer Club, commemorating Paulo and his new arm with the community, will feature the achievement at their home match against the New York Red Bulls Saturday, July 18, along with team members from Limbitless Solutions.
“As an organization, we are thrilled to partner with UCF and Orlando Health for this very special presentation to Paulo,” said Leonardo Santiago, vice president of communications for the team. “He’s got the true heart of a Lion, having shown tremendous spirit and courage. Hats off as well to the Limbitless Solutions team from UCF on their hard work and dedication – they have changed Paulo’s life, and those of many other children, for the better.”
The family will spend Saturday at Universal Studios, where they will meet Marvel Superheroes before heading to the Orlando Citrus Bowl to be recognized at the Lions’ match.
“I believe this process to meet others equal with the same problems is very important to him to show it [can] happen to anyone,” said Claudio. “I’m very excited to see the next step of my son. I want to see him growing with his hand.”
The Lions v. Red Bulls match will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Orlando Citrus Bowl.
To support or learn more about Limbitless Solutions, visit here.