A 10-year-old boy born without a right arm has had his Christmas dreams come true after being fitted with a new bionic limb – just in time to pull a cracker with his grandma.
Harry Jones was born missing his right arm below the elbow.
The Liverpool football fan, from Preston, Lancs, had always dreamt of having a bionic arm, so that he could enjoy ‘two-handed’ activities with his friends, such as riding a bike and go-karting.
Harry had tried other prosthetic solutions in the past but found they never quite suited him.
He said: “I’ve had one arm with a strap around the shoulder, but when riding my bike.
“I had to really lean forward which was uncomfortable,” he said.
“And another prosthetic arm, all it did was barely open and close which I don’t use.”
But Harry was fitted with his ‘Hero Arm’ by Open Bionics on Dec. 13 – and everything fell into place.
Happy Harry said: “With the Hero Arm, I can do so many things.
“It has a freeze mode, which means when I grip things it locks so I don’t drop them.
“I also love the design.”
Harry is one of the first non-military people in the UK to be fitted with a bionic arm through the NHS.
His grandmother Susan Higham said: “When he got it, he was just beaming.
“He couldn’t wait to show everybody.
“He has been one of the lucky ones – probably the first that’s got it.
“The NHS team were fantastic throughout, going through the fitting appointments, and it’s amazing that this technology is now available to all who need it.
“Harry will be able to now really get into the festive spirit. He can pull a Christmas cracker with both hands, which he’s never been able to do before.”
Open Bionics has a waiting list of people who cannot afford a bionic arm privately.
Samantha Payne, COO and co-founder of Open Bionics said: “Our community has been lobbying for the NHS to update its policy for nearly a decade, so to see Harry being the first civilian to be fitted with a Hero Arm under the NHS is monumental.”
Under a new policy, people who have been using Hero Arms for 12 months are eligible for an NHS trial of the technology.
If they pass the trial, they are then able to keep the arm for life.
This means that amputees will be able to access advanced bionics – which have multi-grip technology – for free.
However, the policy still insists that children and young people who do not have previous experience with Hero Arms for instance must wear a certain prosthetic for 12 months in order to be eligible.
Payne added: “It’s a shame that the policy insists that children who do not have previous experience with this tech must wear a device they do not like for 12 months to be eligible for a trial to wear the tech they want.
“However, the change is a baby step in the right direction of better provision and care for upper limb amputees and should still be celebrated.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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