I’m Joey and I’ve worn a Hero Arm since August 2019. Since I was born without it its always been a part of my life so I never questioned it when I was little. I remember constantly trying to find work arounds for two handed tasks that kids my age often did such as tying shoes or playing with certain toys. In particular I remember the elaborate setups I created so that I could fire two nerf guns at once, or play two handed games on the Wii. I was never satisfied with hearing that I “couldn’t” or I “won’t be able to do it as well as the other kids”.
They quickly learned that If I wanted to do something, there wasn’t a thing in the world that could stop me. When I was in the fourth grade I started looking into prosthetics and I got fitted for a body powered split-hook prosthetic. I wore it for a few weeks and then never touched it again, all the years of finding my own way to do things made the hook feel cumbersome and burdening.
Then, one day I saw an advertisement for Deus ex Mankind Divided. In the ad, they mentioned how they were teaming up with a small company called Open Bionics to create low cost prosthetic arms. Hearing this got me so excited and hopeful, every day I would check to see if they were any closer to a final product. While waiting for the Hero Arm to come to the US my dad and I got impatient, so we built their developer hand, the Brunel Hand. We became quite knowledgeable about the arm and the technology used to make it, which was so freaking cool!
When I heard that Open Bionics had launched the Hero Arm in America in Spring 2019, I made an appointment as quickly as I could and a few months later, I finally got the arm. I could instantly tell that it was different than the other prosthetics I had tried because I actually liked it. I figured out how to use it very quickly and I use it a lot. I mostly use it for holding things and while that may sound insignificant, it makes a whole world of difference to me.