Tilly: I think if you have a disability, you should be proud, because you’re not like anyone else. You’re unique. That’s what’s personal to you. Hi, my name is Tilly and I’m the first teenager in the UK to get bionic arms. So the arms are controlled by my muscle sensors and the sensors are on the inside. So whatever I do with my muscles, I can control the fingers. So if I squeeze my muscles they’ll close then I’ll flex they’ll open. And then I have four different grip modes, which makes it a lot easier to hold stuff and types of things. So they’ve got like just a normal close like that, or they’ve got a grasp, I also like to use as a thumbs up. I love to like, match them with my outfit, I’ve got quite a lot of cases, I’ve got like, six or seven pairs. It’s like picking out a new handbag, picking what shoes you’re going to wear matching it all together. And I just love it. It’s just so much fun. It’s cool to be different because you’re unique, like nobody else can decorate their own hands. When I was first born, I was just like any normal baby completely happy, healthy. But when I was 15 months old, I fell really ill. I was originally diagnosed with an ear infection and sent home. But it just really escalated from there. Sarah: There was something in the back of my mind. That was like saying is it just an ear infection, though? And it wasn’t until later on. When I went to change her nappy, we noticed the I say they look like bruise like marks, grabbed a tumbler of the draining board and pressed it against her skin and it didn’t, it didn’t go away. This woman came over to me and just said, “I need you to sit down.” And she was just like; “we think your daughter is going to die.” And I was just like, ‘what?’ I suddenly felt like really light headed and like they can’t be saying this to us. It’s my baby. Like what do they mean? Like this can’t happen to her? Everyday, we were just like is she, will she live? Will she live? That’s all I kept asking. And the nurses were just like, we don’t know, we can’t say we don’t know anything. Tilly: They did say they had to amputate my hands. And of course, my family did worry about that. But for them, that was a really small price to pay for my life. Sarah: It was one of those things that it’s really unfortunate. But at least she’s got her life. I was just like, well, I’m going to make her life the best life she could ever possibly have. Tilly: I’ve had a couple of hands in the past. And they were all trying to be really, really realistic. And they were really expensive. We just felt like all the money was going to work on how they looked rather than how they actually work. Because these hands couldn’t even open wide enough to hold a cup. So we thought why not just scroll up so we forget about the realism just go off of with how it works. As you can see the don’t really look like any normal hand. They are very, like futuristic and stylish. I want to do things with them just because I think they’re so cool. And I love wearing them. Every day I’m finding out new things I can do with them. I actually started getting into makeup and stuff. It was a bit difficult at first because I haven’t got any memories to look back on how I would hold certain objects. So I have to like study how my mom and my sisters and my friends would hold certain objects and then try to mirror that wearing my own hands. And it did take a while to start off of but practice makes perfect. And I just kept at it. And that’s where we are today. When I first started putting makeup tutorials on YouTube, people thought it was really impressive and wanted to see more of like how I did it. Hi you all, it’s Tilly and welcome back to my YouTube channel. I decided to do it more and I like doing it anyway. And of course I started having only one hand one hand and doing it where as now I’ve got two hands so it’s a bit easier. Izzy would you like glam today or natural. Izzy: Ermm, glam. I like to use my arm as a beauty blender sometimes. Because it’s just the same shape. Tilly: Don’t lie. Izzy: Actually last time she poked me in the eye with mascara so. Tilly: I did it once for a YouTube video. It doesn’t bother me when people stare at me because when I had hands in the past it was kind of like looks of eww that’s weird, like, disgust almost. And it’s almost like you should be ashamed to be different because you hands hardly look like everybody else’s just so you could have a normal life. And I’ve just completely needed to change. I think social media is, plays a really big part because I’ve got quite a big following on that. I’ve been posting all the
stuff about it and promoting and showing everyone how cool they can be. It just makes me feel really, really confident. Because in the past, people would look at me and I would be bothered. I found that my bionic hands, get a lot of stares, but in a more positive way. Like people are now looking at them with amazement and smiles on their faces, rather than, a sad. And feeling sorry for me. Because I don’t like when people feel sorry for me because I just didn’t look at myself as any different to other people. Sarah: I feel every time I see Tilly whether she’s wearing her hands or not I always feel so proud and inspired by her like every single day. She’s an absolute dream child. She’s so mature for her age. She’s so caring and loving, and always puts other people before herself. Tilly: These hands have been made by Open Bionics in five years, and if this is what they can achieve in five just think of what they can achieve in another five. So I’m really excited about the future. I think like if you have a disability, you should be proud because you’re not like anyone else you’re unique. And that’s what’s personal to you. And I just want to show people that it’s okay to be different. It’s almost like cool to be different. I just I like to put that through to as many people as possible.