How a new prosthetic arm helped Lisa heal from school bullies

22nd July 2021

We recently fitted Lisa Milns with a Hero Arm. During the fitting process, we asked Lisa what she hoped from her new prosthetic arm, we didn’t expect the answer to be life-changing. 

Lisa is a mother from Coventry who was born without her left forearm. Subjected to physical and emotional bullying at school, her determination to prove bullies wrong has come at a painful cost in her adult-life. 

“I was put in a disabled box and felt like I was living but had no reason to be here. I was beaten at school and had stones thrown at me for having no arm.”

The 34-year-old was overwhelmed at the support shown by the public when she successfully crowdfunded £10,000 for a Hero Arm, with donors including gaming company Yogscast, Douglas Bader Foundation, and members of the public.

Finding courage to battle through cruelty, Lisa vowed to prove bullies wrong: ‘I am now married with two children and I have just finished an MSc in Biomedical Science. I am now studying for a PGCE to become a Biology teacher.‘

While the world has been battling a global pandemic, Lisa was carrying the weight of her husband being diagnosed with Crohn’s and Colitis while adapting to the needs of her son’s autism. 

Taking on all the responsibility to prove bullies wrong has come at a cost. Lisa now suffers from a repetitive strain injury on her opposite arm from overcompensating activity to undertake daily tasks as the main carer for her household. She commented ‘the funny thing is people say to me ‘but you’ve adapted’, and yes, I have, but at what cost? I have to do daily activities in excruciating pain just so I can support my family.’

Open Bionics worked with Lisa to develop and build a custom-fit prosthetic arm. The Hero Arm uses myoelectric sensors, which detect underlying muscular contractions generated from specific muscle groups in the arm. These are then amplified and converted into intuitive and proportional bionic hand movements.

Lisa commented on her experience as ‘life-changing…I can finally give my right hand the rest it needs and offset the load by wearing a new prosthetic arm that will help me not only with my injury but with other dual-hand activities.’ 

Commenting on Lisa’s bionic journey, Samantha Payne MBE, COO at Open Bionics said: ‘We want our medical devices to enable individuals to reach their goals, and we hope the Hero Arm will help Lisa reach her goals without having to compromise her health.’

If you are interested in trying the Hero Arm for free or would like to discuss funding support options available for the Hero Arm, register and our team will be in touch with more information.

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