Tyne & Wear

New Brancepeth dad says bionic hand would help him 'bond with baby son'

Danny Florence with Joshua Image copyright Danny Florence
Image caption Mr Florence is trying to raise £10,000 for a bionic hand

A man who suffered life-changing injuries as a child says he needs a bionic hand in order to be able to bond with his own baby.

Danny Florence, 26, of New Brancepeth, County Durham, lost a hand, most of his remaining fingers and both legs through meningitis at the age of five.

He is now father to 10-week old Joshua, but says he is unable to dress, bathe or even change his son's nappy.

He now feels he may never be able to properly connect with his newborn son.

Image copyright Danny Florence
Image caption Mr Florence says his partner Danielle would have to give up her job if he does not get a bionic hand

Mr Florence, who has prosthetic legs and uses a wheelchair, has launched a £10,000 GoFundMe appeal to be able to buy a bionic hand, which he says will mean his partner Danielle Lilley will not have to give up her job to care for Joshua.

He said: "It's so upsetting. I can't dress Joshua, change his nappy or bathe him.

"When I'm holding him and he cries I know I can't do anything more, so he has to go to Danielle.

"I've seen what bionic hands can do and it would mean so much to be able to do the things a normal dad can do and to help Danielle.

"She is on maternity leave at the moment, but she would probably have to give up her job if I am still unable to do anything with Joshua."

Image copyright Danny Florence
Image caption Mr Florence is currently unable to dress of change baby Joshua

Mr Florence, who works at a bank in Durham, said he had sought help from the NHS, but while experts tried to help, the prosthesis he was given looked like a "mannequin hand" and was just a "dead weight".

He has already had talks with Bristol-based Open Bionics, which made a 3D printed hand for County Durham youngster Tilly Lockey.

He said: "I know they have had great success with other people like Tilly. I just hope they will be able to help me soon."

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