Meningitis Now staff member Clara Wiggins

Kye's new bionic arms after meningitis

Clara Wiggins | 21st January 2020

One of Meningitis Now’s young supporters has been fitted with a special new cover for his bionic arm – featuring iconic Star Wars character R2D2

Kye's new bionic arms letterbox

Eleven-year-old Kye Vincent, who lives in Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire, was given the special cover for his so-called prosthetic “Hero Arm” by Bristol firm Open Bionics after agreeing that they could film him using it.

The 3D printed multi-grip arm is the only one of its kind available for children. As well as Star Wars themed covers the company also offers arms featuring superheroes like Iron Man and Disney characters.

According to mum Cheryl, Open Bionics knew he loved Star Wars because he already had a BB8 cover on his arm – a character from another one in the famous film series. The family originally crowd-funded for the arm after all four of Kye’s limbs were amputated when he contracted meningitis as an eight-year-old. 

The story about Kye’s R2D2 arm has been picked up by local and even national media, showcasing the difference one of the arms can make. “It’s been amazing,” Cheryl told us.

“We did the video for Open Bionics and never expected it to be in the newspapers and on news websites. Basically, they approached me asking if Kye could be filmed and if he agreed he would be rewarded with a new R2D2 cover for his bionic arm. Kye had a BB8 cover on his arm before so they knew he loved Star Wars."

“The arm is amazing and allows him to draw, pick up and hold cups and cutlery, scratch his back and so on.”

Meningitis Now regulars might recognise the name Open Bionics thanks to another one of our young supporters, Tilly Lockey. Fourteen-year-old Tilly's hands were amputated after she contracted meningitis as a 15-month-old. She was later fitted was fitted with a pair of “Hero Arms” and even appeared at the premier of a film called Alita: Battle Angel showing off the hands on the red carpet.

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