Dad's joy as crowd-funded bionic hand means he can help care for his son

A South Shields-born man who lost his legs and hand to meningitis as a child has finally got his bionic hand to bond with his one-year-old son after a successful fundraiser.

Daniel has been bonding more with Joshua since getting his bionic hand fitted.
Photo: Daniel Florence
Daniel has been bonding more with Joshua since getting his bionic hand fitted. Photo: Daniel Florence

Daniel Florence, 26, who now lives in County Durham, is a quadruple amputee after he contracted a form of meningitis when he was five-years-old.

Since Daniel celebrated the birth of his baby with his partner, Danielle Lilley, he wished for a bionic hand to help bond with his now one-year-old son Joshua. So, he set up a fundraiser in the hopes of raising enough money to have one.

At the time of fundraising, Daniel said: “It would allow me to do simple things like button a shirt, tie laces, chop food, even change the baby’s nappy on my own.

Daniel has thanked all those who donated to his fundraiser. Photo: Daniel Florence

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“It will change my life with my partner too and it will stop her from being my carer essentially.”

Locals joined together in support of Daniel and donated money online and through local raffles and events in both South Shields and County Durham.

Everyday Daniel has faced barriers through working and living with a disability with prosthetic legs and and electric wheelchair. But, after being fitted with a £10,000 bionic arm from Open Bionics in December 2019, he says his life has been drastically improved.

He has been keen to thank every single person who donated to him.

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Daniel has been learning to do more with his bionic hand. Photo: Daniel Florence

Daniel said: “I got my bionic hand just before Christmas and it was an amazing feeling!

“I loved how Joshua reacted with it. He was so fascinated!

“Already, in the short time I have had the hand, it has improved my life immeasurably.

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“I can write a little again. I feel more confident when out and about. I can safely hold a glass of water and I use it to play with Joshua.

“I just wish everyone could benefit from it the way I am. I really want to once again thank everyone who helped me get this arm and to let them know all the money they raised will be used for the maintenance of the arm.”