Prosthetic Categories

11-Year-Old ‘Star Wars’ Fan Receives R2-D2 Bionic Arm

    Isabella Tadlock, an 11-year-old from Tallahassee, Florida, dreamt of bending her fingers and picking things up. Her wish finally came true when she received her R2-D2 bionic arm, plus a 30-minute video call with Mark Hamill.

     Isabella Tadlock picks up a piece of chocolate with her R2-D2 bionic arm.

    Tadlock was born without fingers on her right hand and a "nub" on the end of her left arm. After multiple surgeries, she now has three fingers and a thumb on her right hand.  

    Tadlock's family started raising funds for the Star Wars-inspired bionic arm after she saw a video of a boy with a similar prosthetic arm. Her nanny sent Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the movie series, the fundraiser's link, saying that Tadlock is a fan. Hamill retweeted the donation link to his 3.6 million followers in November 2019. They raised almost $14,000.  

    In February, around the same time the bionic arm was delivered, Hamill and Tadlock met in a video call. She showed Hamill her new R2-D2 arm, which resembled Luke Skywalker's droid in the movies, and he sent her passes to Disney World.

    Empowering kids with the Hero Arm  

    More and more kids are discovering their inner superpowers with Open Bionics, the Hero Arm makers. The company creates hero-inspired bionic arms to empower kids and even adults who are living with limb differences.

    According to the company's website, "the Hero Arm is the world's most affordable multi-grip bionic arm." It is designed to pick up signals from the muscles in the residual limb. The Hero Arm is also lightweight and available in the USA, UK, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand for below-elbow amputee adults and children aged eight and up.  

    Two weeks after Tadlock received her prosthetic arm, she wrote in her Mightycause account: "I am so excited. I will be able to ride my bike, swing on the monkey bars, create in the kitchen, and be like my friends."

    With her R2-D2 bionic arm enabling Tadlock to do more things, she now has a new dream: to become a bionic arm model.

    If you could get a Hero Arm, what design would you like?