The sight of five-year-old Jacob Scrimshaw holding both his dad's and brother's hands made his mom's heart melt. It was the first time he was able to do that.
One day, little Jacob Scrimshaw, a cute five-year-old from West Yorkshire in the United Kingdom, came home crying from school. He told his mom, Gemma Turner, that he was exhausted from having to struggle and make do with one arm. Unfortunately, Jacob was born prematurely. At 20 weeks, a scan at the hospital revealed that part of his left arm was missing. Recently, he received a new prosthetic arm, designed specifically for him. It is bright green, so his friends and family have referred to it as Jacob's "Hulk prosthetic arm." Now, he gets to be the brave superhero he was always born to be.
Because prosthetics for children are generally developed for below the elbow, the process of fitting his Hulk arm was not an easy one. In order to get the prosthesis to remain connected, an elbow joint had to be created for Jacob. To make matters worse, the United Kingdom's National Health Services generally do not provide prosthetics for children. Therefore, mother Gemma and father Chris Scrimshaw had quite the journey ahead of themselves. That's when the family started raising some money on GoFundMe. Gemma explained, "I always thought Jacob coped well without his arm and got on with things, but when he came home from school in tears I knew we had to do something. We started raising money on GoFundMe in February this year. I knew what we wanted would cost an awful lot of money. We thought we would have to go to America."
In September this year, they had raised £16,000 (that is about $21,000) and began scouring the internet for ways to make it happen. Subsequently, Gemma stumbled upon Ben Ryan, from Anglesey in Wales, on social media platform Instagram. Ben is the CEO of his own company, Ambionics, and Director of Glaze Prosthetics UK. He made a mark on the prosthetics industry when he developed an arm for his own child, Sol, after he suffered an accident at birth and lost his arm at ten days old. Ben believed that it was best to have Sol begin using the prosthetic arm as soon as possible. Now aged four, Sol has worn his own prosthetic since he was only five weeks old - he even learned to crawl wearing it. Jacob had the privilege of being one of Ben's first "patients." His company, in collaboration with prosthetic service provider Dorset Orthopaedics, worked together in order to create Jacob’s new arm in just three months.
Ben stated, "The reason why Jacob is the first child to have a powered arm is not necessarily because the technology wasn’t there, but rather that parents do not know it is something that is possible. Jacob’s family is unusual in this case in that when they were told they had to wait for a prosthetic or were told that it would not work for him they refused to give in and kept looking for answers – I was the same. They kept going and luckily they found me." Jacob's arm can be set with the use of a sliding lock. Additionally, the hand closes when Jacob squeezes a rubber chamber filled with water, mounted to the upper arm. Ever since he was fitted with his prosthetic, the five-year-old has enjoyed a new lease on life. He has been able to hug his brother and hold both his brother's and father's hand at the same time, moving his mom to tears. Gemma said, "Jacob loves his arm. He is still getting used to it but it is great, we are thinking it will be fab at Christmas when he’ll be able to open his presents with two hands. We always wanted more as Jacob didn’t want a non-functioning arm just to look like everybody else, he’s not bothered about that. He wanted an arm that he could use and do things with." Jacob and his Hulk arm are ready to take on the world!