A ROYSTON youngster born without the majority of his right arm is set to have his bionic limb fitted in March after generous donations from friends and family saw almost £40,000 raised in less than two months.
Tommy Dengel, seven, attends Parkside Academy and in October a fundraiser was set up by both his and seven-year-old Lottie Haworth’s family for funds towards a ‘Hero Arm’ from Open Bionics that will grow with them as they get older so they’re able to function easier.
The arm uses special sensors to detect muscle movements, meaning it’s easier to control the hand with ‘intuitive, life-like precision’.
Both Tommy and Lottie’s family set up a joint fundraiser - Can You Give Us A Hand? - to try and raise the thousands needed for a bionic arm each and grandma Jane Hewitt said she’s been brought to tears with the support they’ve received since.
The 62-year-old from Wombwell said: “In October Tommy and Lottie’s journey had just begun.
“After we’d been in the paper we were contacted by ITV and we were on the main show - from there we had masses of support.
“What’s been really nice is that friends of the kids have been doing fundraisers and we’ve been selling t-shirts and jewellery.
“I’ve cried so much during the bike rides of the kids supporting one another.
“Everyone has really stepped up and after three or four days we’d have never thought we would have raised £37,000 so quickly.
“It’s amazingly overwhelming - there are no words.”
Tommy’s parents, Adam and Katie Dengel, both 32, create limbs using a 3D printer set up in their bedroom to help their son this went onto form the LimbBo Foundation a group who won a Proud of Barnsley award back in 2019.
But they’re now looking at the ‘hero arm’ to help support Tommy.
Both Tommy and Lottie are now set to travel to Bristol on January 11 to have a scan for their arms - and, all being well, they’ll be fully fitted in March.
“It’s absolutely amazing that this is happened - Tommy is going to have a Marvel arm,” she added.
“He’s so excited about it and he’s really looking forward to it.
“He’s very independent and he does most things himself but occasionally he’ll ask for us to do something, like open a packet of buttons, that we would just take for granted.
“This is so life-changing for him.”
The pair had originally hoped to raise £25,000 for their arms but, after smashing their target by more than £10,000 so far, they’re now looking to support others with the same limb deficiency.
“What we’re looking at doing now is setting up another campaign to help five other children with bionic arms through Open Bionics.
“It’ll be Tommy and Lottie paying it forward and we’re going to continue fundraising to help support other children.
“It’s the kids that wanted to help other people out as well.
“That’s in the pipeline at the minute - we’ll be applying for grants as well.”