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Amy Brown, 28, was born missing the lower half of her left arm but crowd-funded more than £10,000 for a robotic limb. The teaching assistant had been wearing a basic prosthetic since she was six months old – but her new Hero Arm has proved a “game changer”. Before now, she did not feel comfortable taking out sons AJ, 10, and Phill, six, because she could not hold both their hands as she crossed the road.
The 3D-printed arm, made by Bristol-based Open Bionics and fitted earlier this year, uses a motor controlled by her muscles.
Amy, of Ashford, Kent, said: “I managed to open and close the hand within 15 minutes.
“That may sound like a long time but actually it was really quick considering I’ve never used anything like that before.”
It has taken her about a month to master the Hero Arm movements, which range from gripping objects to giving a thumbs-up. Amy added: “It’s going to take time because I’m not an amputee, I was born without part of my left arm, so I don’t have the muscle memory.
“When I first tried to find the right muscles for it to work, the middle finger kept twitching. We couldn’t stop laughing.”
Growing up with the disability was not easy for Amy. At 14, she left school as it became too much for her to bear.
She explained: “I got bullied a lot. Having half your arm missing is a disability you can see. You look different.”
Amy is still fundraising as she would like more money for its maintenance and extras.
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