As James Calcagni tells it, the inspiration to build a shower prosthesis came from an eight-year-old kid.
“He said when he goes to a water park, he can’t wear his prosthetic leg down the waterslide because it’s a safety hazard,” says Calcagni, who graduated last spring from Temple University’s engineering school. “So he has to crawl up the ladder on these spiky metal steps on his hands and knees. That really got to me.”
Having grown up with Lyme disease, Calcagni understood firsthand how health challenges can turn everyday tasks into major headaches. And he’d become familiar with the routine aggravations of limb loss during a summer internship at MedEast, one of metro Philadelphia’s largest O&P clinics. So when it was time to develop a senior design project, Calcagni drilled down on the water leg question.