When you think of DIY, what usually comes to mind? Crafts, fun electronic projects, baking bread? How about making a gadget designed to save lives?

A doctor in the UK was faced with the horrible prospect of loosing one of his patients, a newborn baby girl. Due to complications from an operation, her kidneys started to fail. She wasn’t expected to survive, and kidney dialysis machines are not designed for tiny babies.

Doctor Coulthard and children’s kidney nurse Jean Crosier took matters into their own hands and built a home brewed, baby sized dialysis machine. Described as “a green metal box with a few paint marks on it with quite a few wires coming out of it” – the device was not going to win any design awards, but it saved the infant’s life.

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