Caitlin Hutson was born with only one fully formed hand due to a rare congenital condition.
Her left hand did not fully develop giving what she calls her “nubbins” instead of fully working fingers.
Despite her confidence as a keen acrobat and cyclist, she’s unable to do up her coat or open an ice cream packet without help and becomes self-conscious out in public.
But this is all about to change- if her family can raise the £13,000 needed for a bionic hand she will become the youngest to receive a ‘Hero Arm’ from UK-based company Open Bionics.
Her family say Caitlin’s confidence is deteriorating as people stop and stare at her whilst out so the Hero Arm will be “life-changing” for their little girl.
Dad Terry Hutson, 45, an engineer from Wymondham, Norfolk, said: “Caitlin hides her hand under her sleeve- at her request we don’t adapt any clothing so her sleeve dangles.
“When we’re out people will point. Some kids bother her too- they are tolerant but are interested so ask about it.
“Some days she’s happy to talk about it whilst other days she’ll keep it hidden away.
“But when I watched her first test out a bionic hand she lit up. Getting a bionic arm will give her confidence.”
Prosthetics are often only fitted from age eight, but this year Caitlin was deemed eligible for one by Open Bionics, a company which develops low-cost bionic ‘Hero Arms’.
Thanks to the muscles in her arm she’s able to use the bio-electric sensors that link to the bionic hand, making it move as a normal hand would.
The thousands the family aim to raise will give Caitlin a bionic arm which can be recast as she grows.
The money will also be used to keep the arm upgraded with the latest updates and modifications so she’ll be able to grab, pinch, high-five, fist bump and more.
Terry said: “As her parents, it breaks our hearts when we see her struggle and we do our best to not just jump in and help her out.
“We are so proud of her perseverance in never giving up trying to do something. We are not exaggerating when we say a Hero Arm will change her life.”
Terry and his wife Maria, 41, didn’t know about Caitlin’s hand abnormality, called Symbrachydactyly, until she was born.
She was born with five boneless “fingers”, a wrist and an underdeveloped hand on one arm.
The determined little girl currently uses a specially designed socket to cycle with and a rubber Koalaa Mitt to help with her handstands and cartwheels.
The active young girl currently wants to grow up to be like her mum, who is a swimming instructor.
To help her achieve her dreams the couple has kept up to date with all the developments in prosthetics for their first child, who also have a son, age four.
This meant they were delighted to find out Caitlin is eligible for her first hand at age six.