Little Brooke gets new super hero helping hand

Little super hero Brooke Hayes with her new hand. SG100315-128TW ANL-151003-180416001
Little super hero Brooke Hayes with her new hand. SG100315-128TW ANL-151003-180416001

Little super hero Brooke Hayes holds tightly on to a ice pop with her new left hand.

It doesn’t matter that’s it’s cold – she won’t feel a thing and that’s why she smiling.

Because Brooke (3) has just been given her very special helping hand – and it is opening up a world of adventure for her.

Brooke was born with a rare condition that has left her with no fingers on her left hand. Mum Nichola, of Hocklesgate, Fleet Hargate said: “I’d had a difficult birth, but nothing had shown up in the scans.

“It was a shock when I realised she had a deformed hand. Brooke was born at Pilgrim Hospital and there were 20 doctors around her who had never seen anything like it.

“It’s quite rare. They think she was either sucking her hand in the womb or the umbilical cord got wrapped round it.

“When she was 15-months-old I was offered plastic surgery to put toes on her fingers, but that would have deformed her feet too.

“She would have had to learn to walk again and would never have been able to wear flip-flops. I saw pictures and it looked disgusting – I couldn’t do that to her.”

Brooke never let it get her down and even called it her “little hand”. But new hope came for Nichola when someone showed her a magazine article about a little girl in Scotland who had been given a robotic 3d printed hand.

Nichola said: “I got in touch with her hand via Facebook and she told me what to do.

“She directed me to the Enable Community Foundation and I emailed them for some information.

“I was contacted by Drew Murray, one of the volunteers who had the necessary machine to print and assemble free 3D printed prosthetic devices.

“He contacted me and asked what colour she would like and it was ready in just two weeks. Brooke’s really into cartoons such as Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins and wanted a pink and purple princess hand.

“On Saturday he made the 250-mile round trip to come and fit it and she’s had it every since.

“Drew has been amazing – he did it all for free and said if he can improve a child’s life that’s all the thanks he needs.

”I put the pictures up on Facebook and in just a few hours had referred five people to Drew so there must be a lot of people out there needing help like this.”

Nichola is overwhelmed with the difference it has made to their lives. She said: “When a child is born with a deformity there is no help for you.

“But even little things like changing buttons to Velcro to make it easier for her to dress can be expensive.

“I could never have afforded the hand and can’t thank Drew enough.”

Already Brooke is enjoying being the centre of attention with her super hero hand at Small Saints Pre-School in Holbeach. Nichola said: “She took it to nursery to show everyone but she won’t let anyone touch it, including her nine-month-old brother Brody – it’s her hand.”

As well as holding an ice pop without it making her hand cold, Brooke is enjoying having more freedom to play. Nichola said: “She can pick up a ball now and her teddies.

“I don’t have to worry about her cracking her head on her scooter anymore because she can hold on properly.

“I’m really looking forward to May because it is her birthday and I can buy her a bike now.”