We are entering an era where bionic limbs will eliminate many of the disability aspects of having a limb difference. This post shows some early examples.
Why Bionic Limbs?
A lot of people ask me why I started BionicsForEveryone.com since I am a) not a member of the limb-different community, and b) not a member of the bionics industry.
The answer is hope. I believe in the capacity of people to overcome almost anything if given the chance. Bionic limbs embody that hope. They are already helping people regain capabilities lost to injury, disease, or genetic variations, and this will only increase with each passing year.
The stories below are the early proof of this. They are also part of the growing justification for why we need to make these devices available to everyone.
Gerry Kinney lost both his arms below the elbows from electrocution in 2015. See how far he’s come since!
What I love about this story is that it’s not really about what we as a society can do for Gerry Kinney. It’s more about what Gerry can do for us. He still has so much to contribute to our world as an instructor, role model, talented handyman, and probably a lot more not covered by this video.
All he needed was a chance and that’s what the proper medical care and bionic devices gave him.
Everyone with a limb difference deserves a similar opportunity.
This next video has its own introduction that can’t be topped:
Even after five years, this remains my favorite bionic limb video. Why? Because it reminds us that those with limb differences aren’t very different at all. They have the same passions, hopes, and dreams as the rest of us.
It isn’t enough for us to structure our healthcare systems just to give people like Adrianne a bare minimum prosthesis. We’re better than that. Our goal should be to help those with limb differences to reach their full potential and to participate fully in every aspect of our society.
That should be our true standard of care.
Tilly Lockey lost both her hands at the wrist to meningitis when she was 15 months old. Here she is explaining how bionic hands have changed her life.
It is no secret that we are big fans of Tilly. Her story helped inspire this website, which serves the very narrow purpose of helping people with disabilities to understand their technology options.
Tilly’s mission is much larger than ours. She’s changing how the world looks at those with limb differences. Bionic limbs are just part of her story. The bigger part is that, despite suffering a terrible physical injury as a baby, she has become a strong, confident young woman who is fearlessly pursuing her dreams.
Shouldn’t we want that for every child with a limb difference? Shouldn’t we freely offer them every tool in our toolkit to make that happen?
I bet you couldn’t find one person in ten thousand to disagree with that statement. Yet, we still have children hiding their limb difference from others, feeling painfully self-conscious about something that could have happened to any one of us in our childhood, all because government bureaucrats won’t step up to the plate and properly fund the needs of those children.
If you have the chance to talk to your government representatives, please point them to Tilly’s Instagram account for a powerful reminder of what is possible.
How Can You Help?
In the absence of proper government support, many charitable organizations and support groups have sprung up to try to help provide people with the prostheses they need, including bionic limbs.
These groups are always in need of volunteers and donations.
We are not one of them because providing free information on bionic technologies is our way of helping. But we do maintain a list of organizations that can use your help. Get involved. You won’t regret it!
For a list of competitor devices, see current options for bionic hands.
For a comprehensive description of all current upper-limb technologies, devices, and research, see our complete guide.