Mike Swainger First UK Amputee to Receive Bionic Hand
A 33-year old UK resident is the first amputee in the country to receive a bionic hand. Mike Swainger has been without a right hand, arm and leg since he was hit by a train as a 13-year old teenager playing near the railroad tracks, reports the Telegraph.
Now residing in Hull, Swainger says that receiving the myo-electric bebionic 3 model of the battery-powered hand has been a life-changing experience for him.
Up until the recent surgery, he has been unable to perform simple daily tasks such as tying a tie or shaking hands upon meeting someone.
Mike, who was initially in a wheelchair, was soon fitted with artificial limbs but he says adjusting to life wasn’t easy.
“It was hard anyway, being a teenager,” he says.
“Then this happened on top.
“All my life, I wanted to play for Hull FC or join the military. I was getting my mind around that because I couldn’t do that. Back then, you didn’t really see or hear anything about amputees.
“Thinking back to when I was 13, I felt like an outcast to society. It was all totally new to me and I knew I was different.”
Swainger says that the hand has given him tremendous confidence now that he is able to do a variety of normal everyday things. He says that neighborhood children are especially fascinated to see his new bionic hand and call him the robot man.
“This is who I am and nothing is going to change it,” he says.
“I just get on with my life the best I can and help others. I’m not trying to be someone to look up to. Its just the way I am. I need to be positive, stay positive and think positive, and hopefully positive things will happen.
“Looking back, I used to think ‘why me?’ Now I know why me because I’m doing things I would never have done with my limbs. I’m helping others.”
One of the most special things he’s done so far is hold hands while walking with his 6-year old daughter.