Earlier this month Michael White, a quadruple amputee from Hampshire, was fitted with his first multi-grip bionic arm after he lost all four limbs due to a rare inflammatory condition.
After being diagnosed with Bechet’s syndrome between 2012 and 2017 Michael had to undergo around 30 operations resulting in the amputation of both legs and hands. Michael said: “In the end, I begged them to take my hands off, because any small cut would just make them go black, they were dying and the pain was excruciating.“
It’s going to be so great now to be able to hold my phone and still be able to pick something up. I’ll be able to do it with two hands rather than trying to put stuff under my armpit or hold it with my teeth.
Living as a quadruple amputee Michael quickly realised how restrictive everyday activities were; “with my NHS prescribed cosmetic arm, I can’t pick things up. If I go down the pub, now with my bionic arm I will be able to hold a pint.”
Michael was fitted with a Hero Arm just in time for his 55th birthday.
When Michael was asked about what was the first thing he was going to do with his Hero Arm, he said he was looking forward to celebrating his birthday with a game of pool down the local pub and being able to hold a pool cue.
While it has been seven years since the amputations, Michael is still on a journey to get back to normality. Michael explained: “Before the amputations, I was always an independent person. There are still so many things I really want to do, simple hobbies like going fishing and being able to hold a fishing rod.”
After his Hero Arm fitting consultation with an Upper Limb Prosthetist at Open Bionics, Michael was able to pick up fruit, bags, and multiple items in both hands “It’s going to be so great now to be able to hold my phone and still be able to pick something up. I’ll be able to do it with two hands rather than trying to put stuff under my armpit or hold it with my teeth.”
After a successful crowdfunding campaign Michael was fitted with a Hero Arm built custom to his shape and matching his individual prosthetic requirements and design preferences. Unlike Michael’s other prostheses, which were limited in functionality, Michael’s Hero Arm uses myoelectric sensors which detect underlying muscular contractions generated from specific muscle groups in his arm. These are then amplified and converted into intuitive bionic hand movements.
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Samantha Payne MBE, Co-founder of Open Bionics commented on Michael’s experience: “Michael has been on an exceptional journey to regain functionality and independence since his amputations. We are so pleased to see Michael be able to enjoy some more of his favourite hobbies with the use of the Hero Arm.”
Watch Michael’s bionic journey unfold below:
Upper limb amputees interested in getting a Hero Arm can register interest where our team will determine eligibility and arrange a free consultation with our in-house prosthetist.