Jet ski accident man gets UK's first bionic limb with £47,000 life-like hand

 

An engineer who lost his right hand in a jet ski accident has become the first person in the UK to be fitted with a revolutionary lifelike bionic limb.

The £47,000 Michelangelo hand is controlled by muscle signals from Christopher Taylor's brain, with the four fingers and thumb able to move independently of each other.

Using the device, Mr Taylor, a married father-of-three, is able to grip items - vital for his job as a self-employed lifting equipment engineer.

The 58-year-old from Ivybridge, Devon, who returned to work a fortnight after losing his hand in August 2009, has been testing the Michelangelo since December and had his final fitting this week.

He said the hand, paid for by an insurance claim, is a vast improvement on previous prosthetics.

Mr Taylor, who is left-handed, said: "The fingers move in line like a natural hand and I particularly like the way I can very quickly change the type of grip needed for a variety of everyday tasks as easily as moving my remaining hand."

The hand was fitted by Dorset Orthopaedic director of clinical services David Hills, who said his team had been looking for a suitable patient since first seeing a prototype of the German device several years ago.

"He is a very determined gentleman," said Mr Hills. "Putting him together with this marvellous hand was perfect.

"It allows him to get back to normal activities at home, like helping out in the kitchen, ironing and making beds."

The Michelangelo - named after the Italian artist's painting of God and Adam touching hands - is made of soft and hard components, mirroring bones, joints, muscles and tendons. It has a silicone socket, attaching the hand to Mr Taylor's arm.

Mr Hills said: "Traditionally, upper limb sockets are made from rigid materials such as glass fibre.

"We have, however, developed 100 per cent silicone sockets which are proving to be much more comfortable due to their flexibility, especially around bony areas such as the elbow."

Geoff Harding, prosthetics business manager at Ottobock Healthcare, which developed the hand, said: "This is a hugely exciting medical innovation and we're delighted that Christopher has found the Michelangelo so comfortable and easy to use.

"We hope that Christopher's story shows other amputees that real, effective solutions are available and look forward to watching his progress with Michelangelo."

Mr Hills said the company is looking for other patients to be fitted with the bionic hand, which can be covered with a glove to match the patient's skin tone for a more natural look.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Systems and Network Support Analyst

£26000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a rapidly expandi...

Recruitment Genius: IT Systems Support Analyst

£20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a rapidly expandi...

Recruitment Genius: Business Travel Consultant

£20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in London, Manches...

Recruitment Genius: Stock Broker / Trainee Broker / Closer - OTE £250,000

£30000 - £250000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Stock Broker/ Trainee FX, Stoc...

Day In a Page

Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests