Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Brave Tilly Looks a Real Picture of Joy; HI-TECH HANDS GIVE YOUNGSTER NEW LEASE OF LIFE

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Brave Tilly Looks a Real Picture of Joy; HI-TECH HANDS GIVE YOUNGSTER NEW LEASE OF LIFE

Article excerpt

Byline: ROBERT WEATHERALL

LITTLE Tilly Lockey is getting to grips with her new hands.

The lovable four-and-a-half-yearold has just been fitted with a new pair of prosthetic limbs.

Tilly, who had to have her hands amputated after contracting meningitis, received her second pair of false limbs just days ago.

And according to proud mum Sarah, the hi-tech limbs are giving the County Durham youngster a new lease of life.

Despite only having the devices for less than a week Sarah says her daughter is already more proficient using them than her old pair.

Sarah, 31, said: "She understands how to use them now.

"It took a while for her to learn how to do it with her first pair.

"She has been at nursery this week and she has been drawing pictures and painting with them.

"It's clear that she is more comfortable with them.

"I think they are a better fit and she has more control than with the other pair." The artificial limbs, which cost pounds 23,000 per pair, work by using sensors attached to Tilly's arm stumps to drive motors in the hands.

Tilly contracted meningitis at just 17 months old.

Sarah, from Tow Law, said: "There is a little sensor which responds to the muscles in the arm.

"She has to squeeze her muscles to close the fist and relax them to open it.

"This is the second pair she has had.

We have had to have five fittings for them to make sure we were getting the right size.

"We used to have to travel down to Dorset but the company which makes them has now opened a branch in Burton so it makes it a little bit easier for us."

Tilly had to have her hands surgically amputated after septicaemia brought on by meningitis destroyed them.

That operation took place in April 2007 and her parents Sarah and Adam set up the Give Tilly A Hand appeal which has been backed by the Chronicle. …

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