Updated: Feb 4
Scooter-mad. Determined. Loves her Koalaa prosthetic.
Aurora is 3 years old and lives with her mum, dad and two older siblings in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.
It was at their 20-week pregnancy scan that the family were first told Aurora would be missing a hand. Luckily, further tests revealed that all internal organs were fine and she was born happy and healthy some months later.
Now an active and independent pre-schooler, we caught up with mum Charmaine to find out how Aurora is getting on with her Koalaa soft prosthetic.
Finding her own way to do things
Receiving the news that Aurora would have an upper arm limb difference was a bit of a shock. I was terrified to be honest and didn’t know what to expect. At that point, I’d never met anyone with limb difference before and I was thinking the worst and worrying what it would mean for Aurora and her future.
I started googling to find out more about amnionic band syndrome (ABS) and to understand what was going on. I also looked at all sorts of things to do with limb difference and that’s when I first came across charities Lucky Finn Project and Reach. I followed them on social media and started reading up on other families and their experiences.
As Aurora has grown, she has worked out her own way of doing things. She makes us so proud every day, being so determined and happy to try new things - and can already do lots that her older sister can’t!
How did you first come across Koalaa?
Though Reach, who told us about #ProjectLimitless and how it is providing prosthetics for children who need them.
We received an email and filled in our details and the measurements for Aurora’s arm. I wasn’t really expecting anything to come of it, as Aurora was so young (having just turned 3 at the time) and I know that 8 years old is usually the youngest you can be.
But a while later we received an email to say a Koalaa soft prosthetic was on its way to us!
What was the first thing Aurora did with her prosthetic?
Aurora was so excited when it arrived. She got it out the box and the first thing she did was decorate it – she was absolutely made up with it.
Then she used it to ride her scooter round the garden before we went for a walk and she rode it round a big lake. She put her prosthetic on and just went for it! The fastest she’s ever been before!
She used to hook her little arm under the handlebars, so she had to bend over, and it wasn’t the easiest. But with her prosthetic she can just go for it – and she does!
Aurora also loves using her prosthetic to cut up food, for painting and has even painted her toenails, holding the polish in the Mitt and using her right hand to then paint.
She’s getting a bike for Christmas and we’re really excited to see her try out the Kitty tool with her new bike.
Off to school!
Aurora started doing mornings at preschool last September. Last week she took her Koalaa prosthetic into school for the first time. The teacher said she has been struggling to cut and hold paper and was getting frustrated, so she took the prosthetic in and it was great.
Now she takes it in every couple of days and it’s there just in case she wants it.
Best thing about her Koalaa prosthetic?
It is very comfy and lightweight, and I like that it can help Aurora with everyday tasks.
But the best thing about the prosthetic for me, was seeing her ride her scooter that first time. It was just brilliant. For Aurora, the best thing is being able to cut up her own food and to have the independence to be able to do it without help.
She also likes that she can draw on it and she’s done all sorts - covering it in rainbows and putting her name on it. It’s great that its machine washable, something that’s very important when you have kids.
Thinking about getting a Koalaa prosthetic?
I would definitely recommend it. Aurora would really miss it if she didn’t have it now. As she gets older, it’s something we see her growing up with and continuing to use for whatever she wants to do.