Girl receives £13,500 prosthetic arm thanks to generous fundraisers

Thalia Coultas, seven, from Drax, Selby (Credits: PA)

A girl with a limb difference said she was “very, very, very excited” to be able to have a prosthetic arm thanks to a fundraiser.

And the first thing she does with it? Put makeup on her ‘mama’.

Thalia Coultas, seven, was born with an “unformed arm,” her mother Kerrie Coultas found out during her 20-week pregnancy scan.

She said Thalia had been entitled to NHS arms since she was a toddler but they were ‘non-working arms – they don’t do anything, they just cling to their member’ Ms Coultas, 40, a homemaker mother of Drax, Selby said.

Thanks to a fundraiser she was scheduled to attend along with two other children with dissimilar limbs, Thalia is given a “hero’s arm” — a prosthetic leg that allows her to move her fingers, open packages, and even craft — on her mother’s face.

“The guns are now in production so hopefully we should get the guns in mid-November, fingers crossed,” Ms Coultas told the PA news agency.

The campaign was organized by the prosthesis manufacturer Open Bionics.

Each arm costs £13,500 and at the start of the campaign, the Open Bionics Foundation – which is part of the company – provided £5,000 per child, while The Worshipful Company of the Glovers provided £3,000 per child towards costs.

The remaining sum of money, which came to around £16,000, had to be raised jointly by the three families.

However, Ms Coultas said the charity Tees Family Fund “offered to match the donation once we reached £8,000 – giving us the £16,000 needed for the upfront costs and for it to go into production”.

She added that she got “a bit emotional” when she saw her £8,000 goal had been surpassed.

“It’s amazing because it’s something none of these three families could afford on their own,” she said.

“And it’s going to cost us around £2,000 a year thereafter just for maintenance and all the extra costs, so we’re very lucky.”


The prosthetic arm will eventually allow Thalia to open and close the fist (Credits: PA)

Ms Coultas said the arm “is connected to Thalia’s arm with sensors on two sides and she can actually use her muscles to open and close her fist.”

“Eventually, with practice, she’ll be able to pinch and move her fingers separately,” she said.

Ms Coultas added that Thalia has been asking for the arm, which she describes as a “robot arm”, since she was a child.

“I just remember in preschool she used to say to her teachers all the time, ‘I’ll have a robotic arm when I’m older,'” she added.

When asked how she was doing about getting the hero arm, Thalia said: “I’m very, very, very excited.

“I’ll do everything with it – I’ll do my makeup for Mom.”

Ms Coultas added that her local village has been “very helpful” in raising funds, which are set to continue as any additional money raised will go towards additional HeroCare and Hero Arm accessories for the three participants.

“They have offered to host badminton tournaments, their dance club has offered to host a Halloween class and we have a few other things planned like a possible casino night at the pub,” she said.

“People have just offered to do these things on their own just because they know Thalia and how important it is to them.”


Thalia is ‘very, very, very excited’ to get her robotic arm (Credits: PA)

She also said that when Thalia met the other two kids, she felt like she would “fit in.”

“They’re all around other kids who are just like them, and nobody’s pointing or staring like they do in everyday life,” she added.

You can reach the donation page here:

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Justin Scacco

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