Boy, five, is world’s youngest to receive bionic hero arm

Emma Grimshaw and PA Media,BBC News, West of England

grey placeholderPA Boy showing his prosthetic arm to the cameraPA

Jordan’s Iron Man-style arm means he can now grip his scooter

A five-year-old boy born without a left hand is believed to have become the youngest in the world to receive a bionic hero arm.

Jordan’s life-changing Iron Man-style arm was an “instant confidence boost” for him, his mother Ashley Marotta said.

The custom-made, 3D-printed prosthetic was produced by Bristol-based Open Bionics for Jordan, from Long Island in New York.

“As a mum, you just want your child to be happy, and he is generally happy and resilient, but after getting the Hero Arm he was on top of the world and glowing,” Ms Marotta said.

The firm has fitted amputees with Hero Arms in Ukraine, Germany, and Australia.

Open Bionics co-founder Samantha Payne said: “We’re so happy for Jordan and can’t wait to see how he puts his new Iron Man arm to work.”

Jordan’s mother had been following the company on Facebook and contacted them when they opened a clinic in New York.

“Initially we were told he was too young and we convinced Open Bionics to see us and luckily he picked it up right away,” she said.

“It was an instant confidence boost; the Hero Arm really makes him feel like a superhero and he is superhero obsessed.

“He then wanted to rush back to his school to show his teachers and friends.

“He could not have been happier or more excited and he’s the same today.”

grey placeholderPA Boy smiling at cameraPA

Jordan is over the moon he can grab two objects at the same time now

Jordan had only used one different prosthetic before but found the lack of functionality very frustrating, Ms Marotta said.

Since receiving his Hero Arm this week, he has been able to grab his scooter handles and go for a ride.

“He is so excited to use it and to be able to control the fingers and grab two objects now,” his mother said.

The prosthetic uses special sensors that detect muscular contractions and turn them into bionic hand movements.

Most children with Hero Arms are aged seven or older, but the bosses at Open Bionics said Jordan’s size for his age and his high IQ – meant it was easy to teach him how to use the Hero Arm, so that he could have one sooner.

Several children in the UK received a Hero Arm aged seven – including Louie from Swavesey, Cambridgeshire.

Open Bionics describes itself as the only company in the world making multi-articulating hands small and light enough for children as young as Jordan.

It is also the only company to produce bionic arms from the Marvel, Star Wars, and Disney universes thanks to a long-term collaboration with The Walt Disney Company.

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