Wayan Sumartana, known to friends as Tawan, is a 31-year-old man from Bali.
Tawan used to be a farmer before he suffered a stroke which completely paralyzed his left arm. Not being able to work for two months, Tawan’s family was suffering.
Obsessed with machines and electrical engineering in particular, Tawan decided to take action. He built a machine which acts as a bionic arm.
“It’s similar to a lie detector,” Tawan says. “I think of something I want to do and my brain sends a signal to this device; I use the signal, I give it power, so it is amplified. For those who don’t believe me, please come to my welding workshop. [The device] is actually very simple, it’s not very sophisticated.”
Sumartana wants to help stroke victims reclaim their lives. “Life is hard, dying is easy,” he observes as he works in his small welding shop.
Stories like Tawan’s are inspiring to us all. His practicality and endurance are extremely commendable.