A YOUNG boy from Bude has received a life-changing prosthetic after a successful fundraising campaign by the local community.
Jayden Henry-Poole, 10, was born with amniotic band syndrome. A condition which meant his left arm didn’t fully develop. However, after five months of fundraising, he is now the proud owner of a Hero Arm.
While Jayden had been entitled to a basic NHS limb, his family decided to raise the funds for a more advanced motorised arm.
The arm from Open Bionics, a prosthetic company based in Bristol, costs around £13,000 and uses state-of-the-art technology to allow the user to control the arm’s movements.
Since 2022, Jayden and his family have been working hard to raise the necessary funds needed which have come through raffles, children’s play events and pub nights to name a few. Everything has been adding up to make this dream possible.
And last month, this hard work paid off, with the local community raising more than the necessary £13,000.
On May 25, Jayden finally received his prosthetic.
Since then, Jayden has undergone training sessions, helping him learn to use the limb and build up the necessary muscle strength.
Speaking to the Post, Rebecca, Jayden’s mother, explained how much this meant.
She said: “He was so excited when we booked the appointment. We travelled up to Bristol, back to Open Bionics, where we were shown into a room and sitting on the table was a box.
“Jayden could hardly contain himself and was very eager to look inside! As soon as he opened the box with Helder, the prosthetic technician, and saw his arm, the look of excitement on his face was one that will be hard to forget!”
“Helder explained to us and to Jayden how to put it on, he then showed us what grips he can make with the hand, these are in groups of ‘fist’ ‘hook’ and ‘tripod A and B’ which is basically like a pincer grasp.
“It’s honestly amazing!”
It is now up to Jayden to learn how to utilise this new technology.
Along with the arm comes an app which offers training goals.
Rebecca explained: “There is an app on Jayden’s phone which connects to his arm via Bluetooth which shows him how much battery is left. He can also change the vibrations, lights and volume up or down so when he is in school it doesn’t disturb everyone too much. How much can somebody wearing a bionic arm disturb anyone? We’ll see!
“There is also a training tab on the phone which is cool so Jayden can learn how to use his arm properly. He also has goals on there to reach, for example ‘opening the hand slowly/quickly’ ‘making a cup of tea’ simple things but not so simple to do straight away.”
Jayden has been working hard to practice.
“Jayden mostly struggled with making the thumb move and putting the hand in ‘freeze mode’. This is used when for example he uses his bike, or picks up a cup, he can put the hand in freeze mode to keep the hand closed.
“These movements use a lot of muscles, and because Jayden has never really had to use those muscles in his arm, it’s tricky to begin with, but the more he uses his arm, the easier it is becoming!
“Jayden uses the arm for a short period pretty much every day, which is all part of the process. Every time he uses it, his muscles are becoming stronger. Soon he will be able to wear the arm all day if he wants too!”
Jayden and his family are incredibly thankful to all those who aided them on this journey.
Rebecca concluded: “We are so thankful to everyone who helped us along Jayden’s journey to receive his Hero Arm.
“It is still a shock that we have managed to achieve this in five months, we honestly thought it would take a couple of years or so! So thank you so much to everyone. We could never of done this without the help of so many amazing people!
“We are so pleased Jayden finally has his Hero Arm, this is just the start of the next part of Jayden’s journey!”