Mother-of-one wants bionic arm replacement

Posted Mar 19, 2012 by Darren Brown
Nicola Wilding, a 35 year old mother of one, has announced that she wants her 'useless' right arm replaced with a bionic prosthetic, reports The Independent.
File photo: This Modular Prosthetic Limb developed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics L...
File photo: This Modular Prosthetic Limb developed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) allows 22 degrees of motion, including independent movement of each finger, but weighs only about nine pounds, approximately the weight of a natural limb.
DARPA/JHUAPL/HDT Engineering Services
Nicola lost all feeling and use of her right arm and hand when she was involved in a car crash 12 years ago.
She struggles with trivial, everyday tasks and wants a bionic replacement after watching a documentary last year that explained the procedure's progression and use.
She had nerves replaced in her arm from her leg and underwent extensive physiotherapy to try and bring some form of use from the lifeless limb. Whilst she has regained some control, she still has no feeling left in her hand or arm.
She spoke of her plight: "It's the everyday things. If you go to butter toast you can't hold it. I've used my teeth to open bottles and chipped some teeth. Taking my clothes off, having a shower. There are things I just can't do."
She lives with her parents and son in Surrey, and wants the bionic arm to replace her currently 'useless' one so she can do day-to-day tasks.
The documentary was about an Austrian man called Milo who had a prosthesis fitted after suffering a similar injury to herself.
The prosthetic was made by Otto Bock and picks up brain signals from nerve's in the forearm, using electrodes attached to the skin. It then reacts to commands in the same way a normal hand would.
Nicola has now undergone a consultation with Dr Oskar Aszmann, the doctor that performed the surgery in the documentary and performed the first voluntary hand transplant in 2010, who told her she could be a suitable patient.
She is adamant that the procedure would benefit her life, "I've sat on it, I’ve burnt it, I’ve nearly shut it in the door. I wouldn't miss it."
She now has to travel to Vienna to undergo tests that will dictate whether or not she is a suitable candidate for the procedure. After that, Nicola will have to decide how she is going to raise the funds for the surgery.