Every time we fit somebody with a Hero Arm, they join the Bionic Squad. This ever-expanding group are true pioneers, the very first people in the world to be fitted with 3D-printed multi-grip bionic arms. They embrace their individuality and break down barriers. You may recognise a few of them from viral videos and TV appearances..! #BionicSquad
As a baby, Tilly contracted a deadly form of meningitis called meningococcal septicaemia, and had to undergo an operation to have both her hands amputated. Tilly is now fifteen, and is the proud owner of two super stylish Hero Arms. Tilly recently received a pair of badass Alita: Battle Angel bionic arms from director James Cameron, and in 2018 she appeared on ITV’s ‘This Time Next Year’ with Davina McCall. “I love the Hero Arm!” says Tilly. “It’s so much fun to use and I’m finding out new things I can do with it everyday.” This is her story, told in her own words.
Kath’s life changed in the lead up to Christmas in 2019 when she caught a fever she couldn’t shake. That night Kath suffered 7-11 cardiac arrests and sepsis spread throughout her body. Her family were by her bed-side and told she wasn’t going to survive. 18-months on and Kath is just coming out of her recovery following a quadruple amputation to save her life. She has been able to go back to teaching with two Hero Arms.
10-year-old Zak was born without his left hand. Zak lives in Michigan in the US, with his parents and older sister Mia, and is a huge fan of science fiction movies such as Star Wars and the Avengers. At the end of April 2019, Zak was fitted with a Hero Arm at his local Hanger Clinic in Livonia, and he also received super cool Iron Man covers, just in time for the premiere of Avengers: Endgame.
43-year-old Darren ‘Daz’ Fuller is the first military veteran in the world to receive a Hero Arm. Daz, who lives in Colchester, U.K. with his wife and his 4-year-old daughter Sky, enlisted into the Parachute Regiment in 1994 and served for 20 years. In 2008, whilst serving in Helmand Province, he was injured in an incident with mortar ammunition and lost his lower right arm. Daz received funding for his Hero Arm through the NHS Veterans’ Prosthetics Panel, and hopes to be the “first of many”.
31-year old Sadie was born without her left hand. From hooks with pulley systems to heavy bionics, as a child, Sadie’s prosthetics were so unaesthetic and cumbersome that she abandoned them completely. However, two decades later, she was so impressed with the Hero Arm that she successfully raised the funds to get her own. This is her journey.
Dan was born without a right arm, but this never stopped him giving everything a try. “When I was younger I used to wear a lot of prosthetics that didn’t really do anything other than make me feel negative about myself,” says Dan. “I never thought in my lifetime that I would ever be able to wear something like the Hero Arm. As a kid this was only a dream but now it’s reality it’s mind-blowing.” Dan has been part of the Open Bionics journey since 2014, demo-ing the arm all around the world. This is Dan’s story, told in his own words.
Kate is a TV presenter and former Paralympic swimmer. She lost her left hand in a farming machinery accident when she was 2 years old, but this never held her back. She embraced her uniqueness and competed against the world’s best, but now she wants to enhance her life with a bionic arm. “The Hero Arm is all about embracing each individual’s unique style and personality,” says Kate. “When I wear my Hero Arm I feel empowered and proud to show it off.” This is Kate’s story, told in her own words.
12-year-old Cameron was born missing his right hand. He was always a very determined little boy and would manage to find a way around every little thing. His previous prostheses were heavy and not really useful. The Hero Arm is the one prosthesis Cameron has stuck with and used more than anything he’s previously had. “I find a big difference using the Hero Arm,” says Cameron. “I think its given me a lot of confidence too because everyone asks me about it and talks to me so I can explain what it is and people don’t say “oh what happened to your hand” they say “oh my GOD how cool is your hand!”
13-year-old Raimi lost her right hand to Amniotic Band Syndrome. Throughout her life, Raimi’s prosthetic arms had very little functionality, and were used to boost her confidence more than anything else. Raimi says the Hero Arm makes her feel unique and she loves the attention it gets from inquisitive people. It’s no longer negative attitudes about her limb difference but genuine interest and amazement, sometimes even jealousy. The functionality is fantastic and just being able to gesture to people with either hand is a joyful experience that just makes her giggle.
Luke was born without a left arm. As a kid, he became disillusioned with “a myoelectric hand which was very heavy and clumsy.” Luke says the hand “would crush soft objects like sandwiches and drop things randomly when the sensors misread my muscles. Needless to say, this could look quite creepy, and as a young child, made me feel like the technology was hopeless. Thanks to the Hero Arm, the opposite is now true.” Luke uses his Hero Arm in his work as a software engineer, and loves the attention he receives in every day life, picking up a pint and challenging friends to a bionic arm wrestle. “I’ve now been living with and testing the Hero Arm since 2017,” says Luke, “and I can honestly say that it’s tough to imagine life without it.”
Kim Smith had all four of her limbs amputated after contracting sepsis. Kim spent 9 weeks in intensive care, and at one point she was given only six hours to live. But she fought sepsis and won. Now she’s determined to win back her independence. Her daughter set up a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for a bionic arm, and in August 2018, we fitted her with a right Hero Arm. Now she’s fundraising for a left-handed Hero Arm. Kim absolutely loves her Hero Arm and told us “its changed my life”.
Meet Oxandre, the very first person in France to receive a 3D-printed multi-grip bionic Hero Arm. The 12-year-old from Ecques in France was born without a left hand and has worn various prostheses since the age of three, but found them lacking in functionality. In February 2019, we teamed up with Dupont Orthapadie in Dunkirk to fit Oxandre with a Hero Arm. The Hero Arm is a 3D-printed multi-grip bionic arm, medically certified and supported by French health insurance.
Danny lost his right hand, fingers from his left hand, and both legs to meningococcal septicaemia when he was 5 years old. For years Danny avoided prosthetic arms, but after becoming a first-time Dad, Danny started raising funds for a Hero Arm to assist him with everyday tasks when caring for his baby son, Joshua. Danny is a bionic super dad!