Scots mum with one hand raising cash for bionic arm to help care for disabled son

A Scots mum born with one hand is hoping to get a state of the art prosthetic that will help her care for her disabled son.

Jemma Nisbet, 34, who lives in Inverness, was born with a limb deficiency and has worn a prosthetic for as long as she can remember.

But the artificial limb only serves cosmetic purposes and she can’t use it to do anything – including fixing her young son’s feeding tube or tying her daughter’s shoelaces.

Son Aaron, five, has an extremely rare genetic disorder called Temple-Baraister Syndrome and at the time of his birth he was only the 16th person in the world to be diagnosed.

Jemma as a child

With Jemma’s husband Lee, 37, often being away due to his army job, daughter Ellie, 10, has learned how to put food in a syringe and insert it into Aaron’s feeding tube as Jemma can’t do this with one hand.

While a very determined Jemma has been happy to go through life with her prosthetic, she now has her heart set on the ‘life changing’ Hero Arm by Open Bionics.

Toyshop manager Jemma told the Record: “I’ve always been quite happy as I’ve never had a hand, I was born without one. The prosthetic I have just now is purely cosmetic and I can’t do anything with it.

“My little boy is severely disabled and has a feeding tube. He is on a blended diet so you need to put the food into the syringe then attach it to the tube. My daughter knows how to do this because I can’t.

“When we’re out in his pushchair, any time I need to do something I need to stop as my functioning hand is on this chair.

Jemma Nisbet
Jemma Nisbet

“He has a five part harness he needs to go in and I need help to do the buckles on that as well.

“When we go out in public, my husband does most of the things for my little boy because I can’t. I don’t like doing anything in public because it makes it really obvious.

“I do everything I can with my one hand and there is nothing I won’t try but it is quite hard.

“I wish I could have the two hands but I can’t so this is the next best thing.”

The bionic hand Jemma is looking at buying costs around £10,000 and is on offer in Bristol by a company called Open Bionics.

Jemma, with her work colleagues, said she tries to avoid showing her hand in photos
Jemma, with her work colleagues, said she tries to avoid showing her hand in photos

It would allow her to grip things and use the hand to complete daily tasks.

She has set up a fundraising page and plans to host events during the year to raise cash as she aims to have enough cash to pay for the hand by Christmas.

Jemma added: “This hand will change my life. It will actually function.

“I’ll be able to hold on to Aaron’s adapted pushchair properly rather than just resting my hand on it, I’ll not need to hide my arm in long sleeves in the summer, or even be embarrassed to shake hands with people.

“I’ll be able to hold Aaron’s feeding tube, and grab the syringes for medications, I’ll even be able to tie laces.”

Donations to the fundraising page can be made by clicking here.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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