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Amputee bonds with son thanks to 3D printed bionic hand

02 March 2020

For 21 years, Danny Florence has lived with one hand. But when he became a father, he decided to apply for an Open Bionics Hero Arm. With the help of the maxon driven prosthesis he can now build a strong bond with his son.

At the age of five, Danny Florence lost both legs, a hand and most of his fingers.

“I remember always being outside on my bike or my rollerblades and one day my ankle started hurting. I went to bed and during the night began to hallucinate and my body started spasming.” Danny had contracted meningitis.

Danny was put into an induced coma and doesn't remember anything until he woke some eight weeks later. During that time doctors had to amputate his limbs to save his life. He had to learn how to talk and drink again and get used to the pain. When he became aware he had lost his legs his first thought was that he wouldn’t be able to ride his bike again.
Danny explains, “Mum took me to the hospital every day for two years to have physiotherapy as part of my rehabilitation. The doctors gave me basic leg prosthetics after three months and, after a while, I learnt to walk with them. These days I use a powered wheelchair as I can’t walk far. I didn’t do anything about my lack of a hand until I reached eleven or twelve and became self-conscious about it.”

Unfortunately, the hospital could only offer two options; a body-powered prosthetic with a gripper or a ‘mannequin-like’ hand with no functionality. After a couple of days wearing the heavy passive prosthesis, Danny decided to stop using it. “It looked worse than not having a hand,” he said. 

Read the full article in the March issue of DPA.


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