A British woman is considering having her hand cut off and replaced with a bionic one after she lost use of her right arm following a car crash. Nicola Wilding, 35, suffered serious neck and shoulder injuries 13 years ago, which left her entire right arm paralysed.
Although nerve transplants and physiotherapy allowed her to regain movement in her upper arm, her hand has remained paralysed and withered.
She is now hoping to have the hand removed because she said it is “useless” and merely gets in the way.
Mrs Wilding believes a bionic hand would change her life by allowing her to carry out basic tasks such as cooking and dressing. She said she was inspired to take the drastic step after seeing a television news bulletin about an Austrian man who underwent elective amputation to have his withered hand replaced with a prosthetic one.
Mrs Wilding told the BBC: “I’d like to maybe go down another avenue. Is there a possibility that I could have a working hand that could help me do more than I do at the moment?
“It [my hand] is dead. It’s not coming back. The damage to the nerves was that severe. It gets in the way. It’s useless. I‘ve sat on it, I’ve burnt it, I’ve nearly shut it in the door. I wouldn’t miss it.
“If I could have a hand that would assist me for something as simple as just carrying a bag, helping me butter toast or tying shoelaces, it would make my life a little easier.
“It’s the everyday things. Taking my clothes off, having a shower. I have to have meals prepared for me – I can’t peel a potato as much as I’ve tried. I’d probably end up injuring myself.” Mrs Wilding, from Surrey, has been in touch with Oskar Aszmann, an Austrian surgeon who has carried out the procedure on a small number of patients. A Newsnight film last year documented an operation he carried out on a man who had suffered a brachial plexus injury in a motorbike accident, and had also lost the use of his hand.               –DT