Home sci-tech Star Wars fan gets R2-D2 arm after losing limbs to meningitis aged just eight

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Star Wars fan gets R2-D2 arm after losing limbs to meningitis aged just eight

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Star Wars fan gets R2-D2 arm after losing limbs to meningitis aged just eight

Star Wars heroes are no stranger to bionic hands, and a young fan who has lost all four limbs due to meningitis now has his own artificial arm that would stay at home in a galaxy far, far away.

Kye Vincent was eight years old when doctors were forced to amputate his legs, his right hand and part of his left hand, with the infection spreading through his body in less than 24 hours.

Now 11, the young man became the first person in the world to receive a special bionic arm on the theme of the famous droid R2-D2, thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Image:
The bionic arm is themed on the Star Wars R2-D2 droid

Kye is said to be delighted with his new member, who uses sensors to detect muscle movements and is controlled by tension, as he would open and close his own biological hand.

And while it may not be able to display holographic messages from intergalactic princesses, the R2-D2 arm can be adjusted in size so that Kye can use it as it grows.

His mother, Cheryl Vincent, said that when doctors revealed that they had little chance of saving their limbs, the family began to fund crowdfunding so that Kye could fulfill his desire to become a "bionic boy."

"Seeing Kye by hand again was very, very emotional," she said.

The company behind the arm, Bristol-based Open Bionics, manufactured 3D printing.

It also offers themed members for the Disney movie, Frozen and Marvel, like Iron Man, but Kye only had eyes for something inspired by Star Wars.

R2-D2 and C-3PO droids placed on the red carpet
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R2-D2 with your loyal friend on screen C-3PO

His mother added: "I was very happy for him. From a young age, he always loved Star Wars.

"And having him on a prosthetic arm, shows what he likes."

Open Bionics hopes that its members will one day become more widely available through the NHS, as they can only be guaranteed through private funding and treatment at the moment.

Co-founder Samantha Payne said: "We wanted to show that people with a difference can be superheroes. There are no other multi-stick prosthetics available for children, and those that are can be quite ugly or impractical.

"We are waiting for the NHS England to update its outdated guidelines to provide access to amputees in the UK with this multi-claw technology that costs the same or less than the current NHS myoelectric solutions."

EMBARGATED UNTIL 2359 THURSDAY, JANUARY 16 Photo undated released by Kye Vincent's Open Bionic, 11 years old, quadruple amputee, by Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, who became the first person to receive an R2-D2 bionic arm. PA photo. Issue Date: Thursday, January 16, 2020. Kye began crowdfunding for the Star Wars-themed "hero arm" after losing four meningitis members when he was just eight years old. See the history of AP SOCIAL Bionic. Photo credit should be: Open Bionic / PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS:
Image:
Kye is a huge Star Wars fan

EMBARGATED UNTIL 2359 THURSDAY, JANUARY 16 Photo undated released by Kye Vincent's Open Bionic, 11 years old, quadruple amputee, by Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, who became the first person to receive an R2-D2 bionic arm. PA photo. Issued on: Thursday, January 16, 2020. Kye started crowdfunding for the Star Wars theme
Image:
The arm is 3D printed

Open Bionics has provided other bionic arms for children in the UK and the USA, including its Iron Man variant for a teenager in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

The company offers an insurance policy with free repairs for up to five years.

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