Defense contracting company builds prosthetic hand for McKinney boy

A major defense contractor in McKinney is going above and beyond to help a young man’s goal of performing in his school’s marching band.

Engineers who usually build military weapons volunteered hundreds of hours in hopes of building a prosthetic hand capable of changing a boy’s world for the better.

13 -year-old DJ Ghaffari tried on the prosthetic hand prototype for the first time this week.

DJ’s current prosthetic hand doesn’t move at all. And for a person who has already mastered playing piano and the French horn with just one hand, he’s eager to do more. He wants to play the mellophone, which is like a trumpet, and needs to hold it with two hands.

After hearing DJ’s story, the best and the brightest minds at Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems office went to work on their own time.

“A lot of our engineers stepped up and put hundreds of hours into this,” said Jason Ritacco, the Immersive Design Center Manager.

DJ’s father, Ron Ghaffari, says the new hand is already opening doors.

“The whole experience has been life changing. He sees what he can do,” Ron said.

“What we do here every day is solve problems,” Ritacco said. “I see all the up and coming technology. But when you get to do that for a person, this is volunteer work. It’s very rewarding.”

A group of McKinney high school students in the STEM program also worked with the Raytheon engineers to design the prosthetic hand.

Scottish Rite Hospital will do the final testing and fitting once the company 3D prints the final design.