Tilly contracted meningitis as a little girl and lost both hands.
Word by Tilly's Mother, Sarah Lockey, as published by Womanthology.co.uk in September 2016
Being fitted with a bionic arm by Open Bionics
The Open Bionics connection came about when we saw an online request for children who had upper limb amputations to volunteer to help with 3D printing prosthetics. We had never tried 3D printing prosthetics before and I always wanted to keep Tilly really up there when it came to trying out the best hands. I also thought it was time to get Tilly involved again – she had just started to lack in a bit of confidence not wanting to show her arms out in public and wanting to cover up the scarring on her legs so I was hoping this might help her. I hadn’t realised that Tilly had been chosen from hundreds of applicants and we are so grateful that she was. We were shown a video link of what Open Bionics and Deus Ex wanted to develop and showcase at San Diego Comic-Con and we were blown away. It got us really excited about prosthetics again. It all seemed totally what Tilly would choose to be involved in. She loves heroes and super powers, as well as gaming and fashion, so it just seemed like all of this rolled into one.
Open Bionics sent us a 3D scanner in the post, so we took a 3D scan of one of Tilly’s arms and emailed it back to them. We travelled down to Bristol and met the Open Bionics team and instantly felt comfortable with them. They were all so enthusiastic and excited to really push prosthetics to the limit – if there even is a limit with Open Bionics. Their enthusiasm knows no bounds and they are constantly going beyond the boundaries of what everybody had thought possible.
Tilly was helping with research on what amputees need and was fitted with the socket that had been created from the 3D scan we emailed and sensors were attached to her arm to work out the sensitivity of Tilly’s muscle movements. They were making an ‘Adam Jenson’ bionic arm for a child and this is what Tilly would wear in San Diego.Tilly is happy working alongside Open Bionics and she is loving everything about the experience. I think this opportunity came at the right time for Tilly as she had just started to lose a little bit of her confidence and this has brought it back.