A new prosthetic option for children living with a limb difference
We have previously explored a couple of the inspiring organisations making prosthetics easier to access for children who live with limb loss across the world. One of these organisations, OpenBionics, offered the world’s first clinically approved 3D-printed bionic arm – or the Hero Arm as we have come to know it. However, the market has been pretty slim when it comes to prosthetics for young children below the age of eight.
We recently discovered that a very different kind of upper limb prosthetic has now hit the market though, and the team behind it has a bold ambition.
A new approach to prosthetics for kids
Koalaa, founded by a university student, has created a soft and flexible prosthetic which they call ‘the Mitt’, designed for those with Below Elbow and Through Wrist limb difference, and ‘the Paww’ for those with Partial Hands and Partial Fingers.
Koalaa have made it their mission to provide every child in the UK who needs a prosthetic arm with access to one.
To achieve this goal, they have teamed up with several charities, including REACH and the Douglas Bader Foundation in an operation known as #ProjectLimitless - an initiative that has already provided over 100 prosthetic arms to children in need.
Unlike many on the market, Koalaa caters for children aged one and above. The Mitt and the Paww are:
- Easy to fit and do not require special fitting (they are posted out to you!)
- Simple to use
- Can be hired as and when needed.
Both models can also be purchased with a range of interchangeable tools that have been inspired and put to the test by children and adults. The simplest of things can often present a huge challenge for those with limb loss or limb difference. So to tackle this, Koalaa have created tools to cover most needs, from holding a paintbrush to riding a bike.
We understand well, through the experiences of our amputee clients, the new lease of life that a prosthetic can bring. For example the i-limb, which helped one of our clients following an accident in which his fingers were severed and he suffered significant damage to his hand.
That options like these have not been available for young children living with a limb difference is very unfortunate, and so it is fantastic that there is a new, accessible prosthetic on the market from Koalaa. Through #ProjectLimitless their team are helping to ensure that one day, despite limb loss, all children (and adults) can have more freedom to enjoy every aspect of life.