Freddie Payne - Fearless Freddie

Fearless Freddie is youngest-ever Hero Arm recipient

A Wokingham boy has become the youngest person in the world to receive a multi-grip bionic arm.

Freddie Payne received the ultimate gift, a day before his 8th birthday, when he was fitted with a green Hero Arm, made by Bristol-based bionic limb company Open Bionics, at leading prosthetic clinic Dorset Orthopaedic.

Normally, the threshold for a Hero Arm is eight years old but as Freddie was so close to this age it was decided he could have his new arm a day early, making him the world’s youngest.

Freddie, who was born without his right hand, took to using the Hero Arm immediately, first learning to give a thumbs up he declared, “This is the happiest day of my life. This arm is like 900 out of ten!”

As well as learning how to wave and shake his grandfather John’s hand, Freddie also quickly learned how to hold everyday objects. His next challenge was to pick up a hamburger at his favourite restaurant for his birthday party.

Mum Suzy said: “Over the years he’s had a few different prosthetic hands, from static ones as a baby to some 3D printed ones kindly given to us by the charity, the Limbo Foundation. But more recently he’s started to become really self-conscious about his hand and desperate to have something which worked more with him. I first saw the Hero Arm on Instagram and I knew it’d be perfect for him – and it’s wonderful to see him so happy wearing it.”

Each Hero Arm is custom-built using innovative technologies such as 3D printing and 3D scanning. It has market-leading functionality, weighs less than 1kg, has a breathable and adjustable socket, and can be fitted with customised covers. The arm picks up signals from a user’s muscles to activate grip patterns.

Dorset Orthopaedic regularly fits the Hero Arm ensuring the arm fits the patient well and training them to get the most out of the technology.

Matthew Hughes, Clinical Services Director, said: “Dorset Orthopaedic prides itself on introducing new technologies and working with the latest innovations in our field. So we are excited to be working closely with Open Bionics to make myoelectric prostheses available to a younger patient group, and are delighted to fit Freddie with his new arm today in time for his eighth birthday.”

For more information on the Hero Arm or to book a consultation please contact us.