A teenage girl who was born without a right hand is set to receive a bionic arm after a Bristol YouTube gaming company contributed thousands of pounds to her fundraising campaign.
Evie Hunter, 13, who has no right forearm past the elbow or a right hand, is able to buy the custom-built ‘hero arm’ after Yogscast’s Jingle Jam supporters donated more than £4,400 to her crowdfunder.
Her family also raised more than £7,900 towards the arm, which is made by Bristol-based Open Bionics and costs around £10,000. The fee will go towards private clinical care, a hero arm, and a warranty package which includes upgrades as Evie grows.
Having used numerous prostheses in the past, Evie said she found them uncomfortable and heavy.
“I have poor balance, always falling over and hurting myself more whilst wearing my old prosthesis,” she explained. “This hero arm is lightweight unlike my previous prosthetic and has room for growth.”
To help pay for the new bionic arm, Evie’s family started a crowdfunding campaign and raised the funds needed in just 12 weeks.
Evie said she is excited that her new arm will be able to help her with activities that were previously difficult.
She said: “I am learning to bake and would love to be able to hold a bowl and stir my mixture at the same time and be able to carry items in both hands rather than trying to balance them on my arm.”
The so-called hero arm uses myoelectric sensors which detect underlying muscular contractions generated from specific muscle groups in the arm. These are then amplified and converted to intuitive and proportional bionic hand movements.
Last year, the co-founders of Open Bionics, Joel Gibbard and Samantha Payne, were awarded MBEs in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
The duo set up their company in 2014, with the goal of developing affordable, assistive devices that enhance the human body. The business uses 3D printing and 3D scanning techniques to make its products and launched its first one – the ‘hero arm’ – in 2018.
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The news of Yogcast’s donation comes nearly two years after the company’s former chief executive was suspended and resigned after sending inappropriate messages to people. A content creator was also removed from the company at the time.
“As soon as we were made aware of incidents involving a staff member and a content creator that broke our code of conduct they were swiftly removed,” a spokeperson said at the time.
Yogscast has 7.1 million subscribers on YouTube and has gained global fame for videos on gaming.