A ten year old girl, Lexi Pitchford, born without a right hand, has been gifted a new bionic arm just in time for her to open up her Christmas presents.
Before she received the arm gift, Lexi struggled with using cutlery and doing house chores.
She also found everyday tasks like riding a bike and brushing her teeth very difficult.
Lexi had tried prosthetics in the past but found them bulky and preferred to go without them but her Emma decided to do more research after noticing her daughter was becoming more self-conscious around her peers.
Her mum, Emma Mountford, 38, then came across Open Bionics’ ‘Hero Arm’ – a custom made multi-grip bionic limb that costs £10,000.
Lexi’s family started fundraising and, thanks to a generous donor, they hit their target in less than 24 hours and got the bionic arm.
After receiving the arm, Lexi has now opened a GoFundMe account for her friend, Ruby Cuddy, eight, who is also missing her arm, so she can get her own bionic arm before the New Year.
Mum-of-four Emma, from Abbey Hulton, Staffordshire, said: ‘Lexi’s always been the last to get into her presents as she has struggled to get into them.
‘Now she has her bionic arm, she can’t wait to rip off the wrapping paper as quickly as her sister.‘The arm has given her a massive confidence boost and a chance for independence.
‘Hopefully, we can help bring that joy to Ruby too.’
Doctors discovered Lexi’s arm was missing at Emma’s 20-week-scan. After running tests, they found that the baby was completely healthy but her arm had not formed in the womb.
Emma was closely monitored through the pregnancy until Lexi arrived safely on October 14, 2010 at North Staffordshire Hospital.
Emma said: ‘There was no rhyme or reason – Lexi just never developed the arm.
‘When she was born she didn’t really notice but it has affected her more growing up.
‘Her balance wasn’t very good and she would ask why she was different to her sister.’
It was a scary time for us but the teachers were really understanding.
‘She couldn’t join in with some things at school and PE lessons.
‘She’s at an age where she wants to try on make-up and wear pretty clothes, but started hiding her arm under long sleeves.’
Emma said: ‘The support we had was incredible – Lexi’s school held fundraisers and local businesses chipped in.
‘The money was raised in no time – thanks to the kind donor.’
Lexi’s arm arrived in November 2020 – just in time for Christmas – and Lexi has been enjoying using it.
Emma said: ‘She absolutely loves it and there were lots of smiles when she opened it.
‘She is practising gripping pens and being able to hold cups.
‘Hopefully she’ll be able to grip cutlery in time for Christmas dinner.’
Emma added: ‘Lexi really wanted to help another child in need.
‘The fundraising is going alright and hopefully we can get the funds in time for the new year.
‘We’ve kept Lexi fundraising page open and anything over the warranty is going to Ruby for her arm.
‘It’s completely changed Lexi’s life.
‘She’s already so much more confident and her ability with it is going from strength to strength.’