Alfie is a normal, fun-loving, eight year old boy. He was, however, born without a right hand. This prevented him from performing tasks such as using a scissors and holding things, affecting his confidence in the process. He did not like people asking him about it. According to his mum, Laverne, he was "reluctant to go out". This changed in May 2019, when Alfie, from County Down, travelled to APOS Kilcolgan to be fitted with his new Hero Arm.
The Hero Arm is the world's first medically certified 3D-printed bionic arm, with multi-grip functionality. One of its coolest features is that clients choose its appearance. Many opt for a superhero look, just like Ironman. Engineered and manufactured in Bristol, the Hero Arm is a myoelectric prosthesis for below elbow amputee adults and children aged eight and above. It is now available at APOS, Kilcolgan.
Controlled by the user’s own muscles and powered by high-performance motors, advanced software, and long-lasting batteries, the Hero Arm has uncanny, intuitive, lifelike precision. It is lightweight. The full arm weighs less than 1kg. Each Hero Arm is custom-built with an adjustable socket and a removable ventilated liner guaranteeing the user a comfortable fit. EMG muscle sensors within the Hero Arm detects muscle movements and permits proportional control. This capability allied to its six easy-to-select grips gives users great versatility and control to the extent that Alfie now plays hockey at school. According to his mother, Alfie "is loving his hero hand. The hero hand allows him to open bottles, use a ruler, and cut things. These are all confidence boosting victories. He is happy with everything now".