Afghani Refugee Gets Prosthetic Arm

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Izetullah Nawabi came to Lansing about a year ago after he fled from Afghanistan.

He says Taliban rockets destroyed his home and killed several family members; they also ruined his right arm and deformed his foot. Doctors amputated his arm below his shoulder.

Nawabi, a former military truck driver in Kabul, has just a nub for an arm, but Ronald Junttonen, a local prosthetics expert, is developing a prosthetic arm that should allow Nawabi to start working within the next month.

With the new arm, Nawabi will be able to use his elbow and his hand. Doctors say they may be able to attach certain devices, like a hook, on the end of his arm that can assist with his work.

Junttonen, who owns Prosthetic Center Inc. in Lansing, is taking care of the costs that Medicaid won't cover.

Nawabi says he is anxious to get back to work.