Daughter Leaving for College Surprises Blind and Deaf Mom with Unique Gift

Before leaving for college, Denise wanted to give her blind a deaf mother a special gift.

3D printing technology isn't only helping the medical field, it is now being used to give an Indiana mom who is blind and deaf a replacement for photos.

Faith Altheide was born deaf and has become blind due to Usher Syndrome. Her daughter Denise just graduated from high school and will soon be going away for college while Faith will be heading to The Helen Keller Institute.

3D printed replica of Denise’s face was the perfect gift idea for Faith, as she is accustomed to touching her daughter's face to identify her based on her characteristics. 

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The project began when Patricia Ingram, a social worker, met Faith through the Jehovah's Witnesses public ministry. She thought of the gift idea and enlisted two middle school math teachers who have a 3D printing lab at Maconaquah High School to do the job.

Math teachers, Ron Shaffer and Cory Howard, are good friends and both have used 3D printers in their lab but have never to printed a replica of someone's head. After a lot of trial error and working together they first made a successful replica of  Cory's head before it was time to create the gift.

They had to take many photos of Denise from every angle and use a program to combine the images to form a 3D digital replica and printed a model of her face.

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When it was completed, Ron and Cory drove two hours to meet Faith and bring the present.

Cory told INSIDE EDITION that in the future they would like to create 3D models of newborn babies to send to servicemen that are abroad and for mothers who are blind.

Faith was so overcome with emotion when she realized what was created just for her.

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