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Pizza leads to prosthetic arm for 4-year-old girl

Posted at 6:52 PM, May 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-16 21:49:45-04

MOUNT ORAB, Ohio -- A young girl rode her bike for the first time Wednesday, thanks to a waiter at a local pizzeria.

The Gills were eating at LaRosa's, chatting with 18-year-old waiter Austin Weber. They mentioned that their 4-year-old daughter Drew, who was born without part of her arm, was having trouble turning her bike.

"We were just having a casual conversation with him," Andrew Gill said. "Asked him how he's been, and it led to this."

It turns out that when Weber isn't waiting tables, he's building prosthetics using a 3D printer. He has also created a thumb for his ROTC instructor. When he heard about the Drew, he set his mind to helping her ride a bike.

"He's always coming up with some really great ideas," teacher Andy Creighton said.

Weber build prototype after prototype until one was finally ready. Drew came ready, too, with bike tassels, a unicorn helmet and all. 

After a bit of practice, Drew was pedaling laps. 

"Just to see the excitement on her face once she figured out that she can turn it on her own, it just really means the world," Gill said.

Seeing drew using the prosthetic, Weber said he felt relief and accomplishment. But he's still planning some tweaks to the design.

Weber graduated from Western Brown High School Tuesday. He joined the ROTC and will start at the University of Cincinnati in the fall. 

"You talk about the future of our country, and I think it's probably in pretty good hands," Creighton said.