South West Wales

Swansea boy, 10, first to get new bionic hand in Wales

Alan Gifford feeding the birds and with his new hand
Image caption Alan has previously been unable to hand-feed birds but it is now possible with his new hand

A Swansea schoolboy has become the first child in Wales to receive a new state-of-the-art bionic hand.

Alan, 10, of Loughor, had both hands amputated at the age of three after complications arising from an infection.

His mother Hannah Jones, 32, managed to raise £30,000 in eight months so he could get an i-limb quantum hand.

She said: "It's made a huge difference to his life - he's more confident."

Alan underwent almost 40 operations during his early years due to a heart defect, but an infection which affected his circulation meant he needed a double hand amputation to save his life.

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Media captionAlan tries drawing with his bionic hand for the first time
Image caption Alan with his mother Hannah Jones and stepfather Ben Davies on the way to Scotland, where his new hand was fitted

Last year, Ms Jones discovered the i-limb quantum, made by Touch Bionics, was available in Scotland and raised the money from donors.

The "multi-articulating" hand is the first prosthesis to allow wearers to change grips with a simple gesture, according to its manufacturer.

"He's now able to write one-handed, he's able to eat with a knife and fork, he's able to ride a bike, which is something he's always wanted to do," Ms Jones said.

Image caption Alan had a double amputation after suffering from a heart defect when he was a baby

"I can't thank everybody who's helped us enough - to see how much happier it has made him, I'm happy for him. It's been long and hard but we got there."

Alan's mother said he now hopes to realise his dream of becoming a special needs teacher and, perhaps, one day a head teacher.

She would like to raise enough money for him to get a second bionic hand, which he could have fitted when he is aged 12.

  • Watch Alan's story on The Boy with No Hands, BBC One Wales, Monday, 20:30 GMT

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