A 28-year-old NHS worker born without an arm has launched a fundraiser so she can buy a “hero arm”.
Nicola Berry from Chulmleigh was born with an upper limb difference and has become accustomed to being acknowledged as the girl with one arm.
Every day tasks like getting dressed and cooking food have always taken longer – and the tin opener is her “nemesis” – but that hasn’t stopped her from achieving her dreams.
But now, the NHS clerk is on a mission to raise £10,000 for a bionic hand so she can go from being ‘the girl with one arm’ to ‘the girl with the hero arm’.
Nicola explained: “At work people would say ‘oh do you know Nicola?’ and if people said no they would say ‘she is the girl with one arm’. Then that would instantly make them know who I am.
“I don’t want to be known as that anymore. If I am going to be referred to by the fact that I have a limb difference, I would love to be known as the girl with The Hero Arm.”
The Hero Arm that Nicola is referring to is the world’s most affordable multi-grip bionic arm. It is manufactured using innovative 3D-scanning and 3D-printing by a company called Open Bionics in Bristol.
Other similar devices could cost up to as much as £60,000 but the Hero Arm costs less than £10,000 which makes it more attainable with support through crowdfunding.
Unfortunately, the device isn’t available on the NHS.
She said: “They are always working to try to make the device more affordable and accessible hence why they now have a charity called ‘The Open Bionics Foundation’ which is run by independent volunteer trustees to help people like me afford a Hero Arm.
“Not only that but they are a company that celebrates being unique and each device is created bespoke for the user.
“I feel like The Hero Arm is built like a Hero, it looks like a Hero.
“I think wearing a prosthetic device like this would attract all the right attention.”
When Nicola was growing up she was given a cosmetic glove to wear.
She said that luckily, she was never bullied but she was always classed as different. However, people would question if she could do certain tasks.
“The cosmetic glove did not help me at all,” she said.
“I was just supposed to wear it so that it looked like I had two hands.”
Growing up Nicola explained that “you don’t care what people think until you get to a certain age” but that she does think that it would be great for younger children to see people wearing the Hero Arm so that they know there is something out there to help them.
She said: “You don’t need to just hide the fact that you are missing a hand.
“I think adulthood is harder as there is just no help out there for the limb different community.
“That is why I was so grateful to hear about The Open Bionics Foundation.”
Nicola has set up a GoFundMe page to try and crowdfund for her Hero Arm.
“I finally plucked up the courage to do it. My neighbour convinced me in the end, and I set up my page.
“Now that I am an adult, I can’t wait to be able to do all of the little things in life that I haven’t been able to do or ever believe was possible for me to do on my own.”
To support Nicola’s campaign visit click here.
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