Despite accident, Paw Paw student continues to play trumpet
Updated: Thursday, December 5 2013, 11:42 AM EST
PAW PAW, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Despite an accident that left her without a hand, a 16-year-old Paw Paw student is following her dream of playing the trumpet.
Last week, workers from Keystone Solutions and Laserabilities—both here in Kalamazoo—presented Ana Lennen with a device to help her hold her instrument.
Ana lost her hand in third grade but hasn't let it slow her down.
She likes to be independent, and doesn't want a lot of attention or help.
But when volunteers decided to donate their time and effort to create something to make it easier to hold her trumpet, she couldn't say no.
Ana is like any other teenager. But for her, life changed 8 years ago when the horse she was walking took off.
"The lead rope was wrapped around my hand," she explained. “And I tripped and fell and was drug, and then I hit a tree, and my hand came off."
But she's never seen herself as any different than her friends.
"I don't even remember having two hands or what it was like," Ana said.
And she wasn't about to let it stand in the way of playing her trumpet in the high school band.
"I just really liked it and I just kinda dealt with it," she explained.
That meant holding and playing the instrument with one hand—that is until a group of people decided they could help.
The team scanned Ana's arm and her trumpet, and came up with the device.
From there it was sent to a 3d printer.
But after all of that, Ana made her debut with the new adapter on Friday night, making it easier to hold the trumpet and match the choreography.
"I'm really grateful too,” she said. “They didn't have to do this and they did and i really appreciate it."
Band teacher Amy Gronda says she already sees a big difference in Ana's performance, but is more impressed by her perseverance.
"It just tells me that the kid's gonna go and do anything that she wants to," Gronda said.
The reason Ana wanted to share her story is to let others in her position know there are options available and hopes to push others to overcome their challenges.