A British schoolboy born with one hand is raising money to buy a high-tech bionic arm
Jacob Hyatt is a seven-year-old boy from Eaton Bray, in Dunstable, Bedfordshire. He was sadly born with just one hand, but now, with the help of an online fundraiser campaign, he is hoping to be able to buy a bionic arm, just like his action-hero, Iron Man.
During her pregnancy scan in week 20, Jacob’s mother Bernice, a florist, was given the tragic news that his left hand was missing. Ever since her son was born, 33-year-old Bernice has done her best to make life easy for Jacob, buying shoes with Velcro, or clothes with zips.
Bernice spotted a company called Open Bionics advertising on Facebook for people to help them trial a new high-tech £13,000 (€15,300) bionic arm, so she put her son’s name forward. Earlier this year, in August, they contacted Bernice and asked Jacob to trial it. Now, his family is hoping that with the help of the fundraiser, they can get Jacob his new arm before Christmas.
After trilling the bionic arm Jason has his heart set on having it
As Bernice explains, “I have always taught Jacob you don’t have to fit in, and that it’s good to be unique and he should be confident. But there are things he struggles with, so the second he tried on the bionic arm, he was desperate to get one. Since then, we knew we had to try everything possible to get one for him”.
She added, “He doesn’t need or want sympathy, but it would just make his life that bit easier. We can’t believe how generous and supportive people have been so far, and he is so excited at the thought of becoming a superhero”.
Talking about the moment the bionic arm was fitted to Jacob, Bernice enthused, “They put sensors on the arm muscles that would control his lower arm, and as soon as they explained how to move the arm, Jacob got it moving straight away”.
She continued, “I nearly cried when he began picking up and dropping tennis balls and doing the ‘OK’ hand sign – his eyes completely lit up. I remember him saying ‘mum, look what I can do!’ and I knew we had to get one for him”.
Open Bionics has since developed their bionic arm so that it looks like the one used by Iron Man. With more than £7000 (€8,250) already donated towards Jacob’s new arm, the family is over halfway to their target.
“I was a bit anxious setting up the fundraising page but after seeing how happy that arm made Jacob I had to try everything to make it happen”, said Bernice. “The response so far has been amazing – I can’t believe how much money has already been raised”.
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