Tired of feeling left out, incredible 10-year-old raises over $20k for revolutionary bionic arm – “I’m very excited”
By Logan Wamsley
Aidan Choquette of Sopchoppy, Florida is pretty much your average 10-year-old. He’s smart, funny, and enjoys activities such as watching YouTube, playing video games, and riding his bike.
He also happened to be born missing a portion of his left arm below the elbow.
In some respects, his special arm hasn’t kept him down in the slightest. He can ride a bike with the help of a wrench, play video games, swim, and pretty much anything else a typical 10-year-old boy can do.
But despite his best efforts and ingenuity, Aiden nevertheless has always been aware that some things were simply going to be a little bit more difficult for him.
“I can do almost anything two handed people can do,” says Aidan, “but there are things that are challenging for me.”
His arm has also separated him from other kids his age. “He knows that they don’t mean anything by it,” says Aidan’s mom Sonia, “but, as kids do, they liked to point out his arm, or even ask to touch it. It made Aidan feel different, almost like he didn’t belong, and it really affected his confidence.”
Aidan, however, had a plan. One day in the near future, he was going to get a new robotic arm.
It couldn’t just be any arm, though. It had to be the right arm.
Although he had tried several types of prosthesis in the past, none of them were what he really wanted. At one point, he even built some of his own.
“Aidan was always researching to see what was out there,” said Sonia. “He knew exactly what he wanted. And one day, he found it. He just knew that was it.”
“It would help me do some of the activities that are best done two-handed,” says Aidan, “like ride a bike, swing on monkey bars, canoe, tie my shoes, shoot a bow and arrow and hold my twin’s hand while Mom holds my other hand.” Yes, fun fact, Aidan is a twin!
The arm in question is the Hero Arm from Open Bionics, the world’s first medically certified 3D-printed bionic arm.
Unfortunately, Open Bionics was based in the United Kingdom, and Aidan would have to wait about five years before the arm was medically cleared by the FDA in the U.S.
But after a few months, Sonia received a call that the arm was going to be available in the United States sooner than expected.
After a visit to Hanger Prosthetics, Aidan was finally informed that he could be one of the first people in Florida to get one. Aidan and his family worked with Dr. Eric Ramcharran at the facility to get Aidan taken care of and fitted for his dream arm – “Eric was so good to us”, Sonia told Majically News.
The only catch was issue of payment. Total costs would add up to over $21,000.
So, to help accumulate the needed funds, 10-year-old Aidan took it upon himself to set up a GoFundMe Page.
“He’s very tech savvy,” said Sonia. “The GoFundMe was all him. We knew every little bit would help, but we had no idea how successful it would be.”
Aidan’s page blew up beyond his or his family’s wildest dreams with complete strangers wanting to help in anyway possible. The donations kept coming, people kept sharing and the family was overwhelmed with gratitude.
About a week later, Aidan had received over $15,000. This haul, combined with the proceeds received from a scavenger hunt event orchestrated by his family, Aiden suddenly had more than enough to cover the costs of his new arm.
Today, Aidan is still learning to use his new limb, and every day is proving to be a new adventure as he gets used to it. “It’s amazing,” says Sonia. “On the first day, he was turning the pages of books, picking up pens, and now he’s able to ride his bike while actually gripping the handlebars.”
In early November, Aidan got to show off his new arm to his classmates first time. As one can imagine, they were just as excited as he was.
“Some days I can’t even believe this is real, that this actually happened,” says Sonia. “We can see in his smile just how much confidence his arm has given him.”
You can follow Aidan’s journey by visiting the Aidan’s Arm Facebook page.
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