About Us

How It All Began?

In 2006, Brent Wright, Certified Prosthetist and Board Certified Orthotist, was invited by Tim and Doris Spurrier, founders of Hospital Shalom in San Benito, Guatemala, to launch the hospital’s prosthetic program with a free prosthetic clinic. The first clinic began in a cinderblock room, with no electricity, and a handful of used, donated limbs and components. It didn’t take long for Brent to realize this method was not ideal or sustainable. As he returned to the States, he quickly began to research other alternatives. Through some trial and error, Brent, along with Frank Hodges (owner of SunStone Lab, central fabrication facility) designed an improved prosthetic system, making it affordable to provide a brand new, customized limb to each patient.

Over the years, various friends, family members and co-workers came alongside to help with the clinics. By 2014 it was clear that the growth of the patient waiting list, along with rapidly developing technology in 3D printing, would mean it was time to officially organize our own nonprofit. LifeNabled, Inc. officially launched in October of 2015, 9 years after first beginning our work in Guatemala.

Since our official launch, we have taken great strides towards the future. We continue serving the Petén region of Guatemala through bi-annual clinics while also rapidly creating new prosthetic solutions involving 3D printing, adjustable socket designs, stability knee development, and eventually online and/or in-person training options for other practitioners and organizations.

Tell me more about the prosthesis.

Several key factors come into play when selecting an appropriate prosthetic system for the developing world. Most of our patients live physically demanding lives in an environment that is rugged, hot, humid, and dirty. Items such as a gel liner, that is commonly used with U.S. prosthetic devices, simply does not work well in this environment, and in some cases can lead to further skin conditions and infection. An appropriate prosthesis needs to be simple, without a lot of moving parts that can easily break or become corroded. Additionally, an appropriate prosthesis must also be extremely durable, especially the feet!

LifeNabled currently utilizes two kinds of sockets. Our traditional sockets are made of co-polymer plastic and our 3D sockets are printed with Multi-Jet Fusion PA12 or PETG for our FDM machines. To complete the prostheses, we use aluminum pylons, a handful of knee options depending on the patients needs, and a very durable foot. This combination is versatile enough to work for all patients, above-the-knee, below-the-knee, adults and pediatrics, and has proven to withstand the demands of life in the developing world.

How much does a prosthesis cost?

Affordability is critical. Many patients in Guatemala, and other parts of the developing world, live on just a few dollars a day. Purchasing a prosthesis is simply unattainable. We provide our prostheses at no cost to the patients, which means we rely heavily on our generous partners and donors. In order to reach as many patients as possible, we must keep our material costs low in order to remain sustainable. For reference, in the U.S., a prosthesis may cost anywhere from $5k to $100k. However, our material costs are only $150 for a below-the-knee prosthesis and $300 for an above-the-knee prosthesis. In some cases, incorporating 3D printing can bring those costs even lower.

What if patients need an adjustment or repair?

Naturally, all prosthetic patients need adjustments and/or repairs at some point. Accidents happen and residual limbs shrink and expand for various reasons; it’s an expected part of being an amputee. Thankfully, our prosthetic system lends itself to minimal repairs and our sock-ply system helps patients self manage typical limb changes. Additionally, our partnership with Hospital Shalom means there is typically someone available who has undergone basic technical training during previous clinics. We leave extra parts and components for any emergency repairs that cannot wait until our next clinic. Otherwise, patients sign up for follow-up and repair appointments, as needed, during upcoming clinics.

Do you offer prosthetic training?

Eventually, we would love to offer CE accredited, prosthetic based, 3D printing courses as well as training modules for other organizations to utilize. Our goal is to offer the necessary training, combined with the ideal component recommendations, in order to equip others to make affordable prosthetic care available to all amputees around the world.

We also offer the DigiScan App as a tool to equip other practitioners in the field.

If you are interested in seeing what we do first hand, contact us about coming to an upcoming clinic for training.

Why do you say #HopeBegins with a Prosthesis?

Try to imagine some of these very real scenarios:

  • You make $3 dollars a day. You can barely feed your family their next meal.
  • You live in a remote village and there is zero access to medial care, much less prosthetic care.
  • Your family is hungry but since losing your mobility, you are no longer able to work and provide.
  • You’re a child whose parents work in the fields from sun up to sun down. You are home alone with no hope for a future because you are unable to attend school.
  • You have a loved one who is an amputee that you are desperately trying to care for, but meeting their daily needs, plus your own, plus the rest of your family, you are exhausted, desperate and in need of relief.
  • You used to have mobility, but after a terrible tragedy, now you are coping with feelings of overwhelming hopelessness, feelings of being incomplete or worthless.
  • You were born without a limb and your village feels you have been cursed. You live in daily fear of abuse because of a birth defect you cannot control.
  • ….the list goes on

For all of these scenarios and more, the opportunity to begin a new chapter of hope truly begins with a prosthesis. Once a patient is able to gain mobility, their self-worth increases and they now have the ability work, to provide for their families, to attend school and more. The load placed on their caretakers is lessened and their entire outlook on life changes — for the better! So many patients have told us through their tears of joy, “I never thought I would have the chance to walk again.” Providing a patient with a prosthesis is the first step towards hope, and it allows us the ultimate opportunity to share the true source of eternal hope offered through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

We confidently believe #HopeBegins with a prosthesis.

What We Do

Enable

We enable mobility by utilizing innovative engineering, 3D printing, and cutting-edge prosthetic design.

Train

We train others in effective prosthetic care for the developing world as well as in digital design and 3D printing techniques.

Serve

We serve residents in the Petén region of Guatemala by providing free, bi-annual prosthetic clinics at Hospital Shalom in San Benito.

Meet Our Team

Meredith Wright

Executive Director/Board President

Meredith graduated from Appalachian State University with a B.S. in Applied Communication -Public and Interpersonal/Organizational. Additionally, she obtained her NC Real Estate license in 2004, allowing her to work part-time in that field as well as spend time at home with her 3 children. Presently, Meredith oversees the day to...

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Meredith Wright

W. Brent Wright

Board Vice President/Treasurer CP BOC/O

Brent is an ABC certified Prosthetist, board certified Orthotist and leading innovator in 3D printing processes and digital design. His expertise is sought after for consulting services, training and public speaking. He began in the field of prosthetics in 1996 as an intern in fabrication techniques. He graduated from Appalachian...

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Brent Wright

Frank Hodges

Board Secretary BOC/P BOC/O

Frank is a Board Certified Prosthetist and has worked as a Prosthetics and Orthotics technician for 16 years, with the past five years owning his own professional P&O technical company. He graduated with a Liberal Arts degree from Alderson-Broaddus College in Philippi, WV with focuses in Math, Science, and Theater.  Frank...

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Frank Hodges

Michelle Keller

Communications Director

Michelle joins our team following her employment as a Recruiter with L&E Marketing Research. She and her husband moved around quite a bit from California to Montreal before happily settling in Raleigh, NC to start a family. She studied Communications/Public Relations at the University of South Carolina. Her previous work...

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Michelle Keller

Timothy Pitman

Advisory Board Member

Tim graduated from Campbell University with a degree in Business Administration and a minor in Marketing.  He was a member of the P.G.A., and served as a First Assistant and Teaching Professional at North Ridge Country Club for 11 years.  In 2010, Tim began working in the Client Service Department...

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Timothy Pitman

Robert Christner

Advisory Board Member

Robert is the Vice President of Digital Innovation at Medical Mutual in Raleigh. He has been developing software for over 12 years, including work with IBM and BB&T. Robert obtained a Masters degree in Computer Engineering from NC State University in 2004, and also holds Bachelor degrees from Case Western...

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Robert Christner

Trey Watkins

Advisory Board Member

Trey is Vice President of Rose Oil Company, a 75 year old family owned company. The company operates retail gas stations and manages commercial real estate. He graduated from UNC at Chapel Hill with a BS in Business and a Masters in Accounting. He has served on Boards for the...

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Trey Watkins

Mission

Enable. Train. Serve.

Vision

A world where all amputees have access to affordable prosthetic care.

Values

We value compassion, innovation and quality.

Why

Hope and wholeness begin with a prosthesis.

Mission

Enable. Train. Serve.

Vision

A world where all amputees have access to affordable prosthetic care.

Values

We value compassion, innovation and quality.

Why

Hope and wholeness begin with a prosthesis.

Will you partner with us?