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Community fundraiser helps man receive prosthetic hands

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MURRAY, Utah--The phrase “Lending a helping hand,” was taken to a whole new level thanks to the generosity of a Utah County community.

On Tuesday 23-year-old Obedmoth Cosmas, of Uganda, received two new prosthetic hands at the Hanger Clinic in Murray.

“They changed my life and my life is restored,” said Cosmas, who wrote his name for the first time since the machinery accident that mutilated his hands in January 2015.

Cosmas was discovered in his village last year by missionaries from Mapleton Utah.  They shared his story with family and friends back home, and a fundraiser was started, Hands for Cosmas.

Within four months of starting the fundraiser, the community, with the help of donations from around the globe, helped raise $28,000.

“It’s not when we step back and we look at somebody like Cosmas, and we realize how blessed we all truly are, you don’t know that until you work with a Cosmas and that was value in this for us,” said Dr. Steve Aldana, who helped organize the fundraiser.  “It’s had a greater effect on us than probably on him.”

Cosmas, along with his brother, flew to Utah and began working with the Hanger Clinic.

“It’s one thing when I have to fight with an insurance company to get coverage it’s a different situation when you see a community rally behind him, do the fundraising for him,” said Phillip Stevens, manager of the clinic.

Cosmas will take home with him three different sets of hands.

“We made one set of devices that are very cosmetic in the way they look and feel, we have a second set of devices that are made for dexterity and function,” said Stevens. “And then we have a third set that are intended to be very durable, very strong.”

One grasp at a time, one smile at a time, these hands have given back a young man’s independence.

“I will not be disturbing my brother, many things I will do on my own, as long as my brain is working,” said Cosmas.

Cosmas said he can’t wait to show his village the life changing generosity he’s received in Utah.

“They are going to see like real hands and they will be surprised,” said Cosmas. “I just want to thank everyone. They showed for me love and mercy.”

The Mapleton community is still looking for more donations to help meet their overall goal of $29,850. For more information on how to help go to handsforcosmas.com.