Seventeen-year-old Maddie Cable and her mother Linda were getting onto the highway in pouring rain when their car hydroplaned and they got into an awful wreck. Maddie fractured her T12 vertebra and was forced to wear a backbrace that doctors told her she could not remove for at least six weeks. That’s when her best friend Sarah had an idea.
“At first, I felt very self-conscious about the brace,” Maddie told BuzzFeed. “But then Sarah brought up the idea of steampunking it, which I loved.” The two girls, who have been friends for about 10 years, share a love of all things steampunk.
The girls used appliques, metal trip, paper brads and other craft items to transform the ugly medical appliance into something far, far cooler.
After the girls were done transforming it into steampunk armor, Maddie’s feelings about the brace changed dramatically.
“I enjoy wearing it now. It makes me feel more confident.”
Maddie is currently weaning herself off the brace, a few hours at a time — but a friend is getting ready to have knee surgery, so Maddie and Sarah are already planning their next project.
Read Maddie’s entire story at Buzzfeed