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5 Year old Gains Prosthetic Legs

A five year old British girl who had her all of her outer limbs amputated due to meningitis has become the youngest person to benefit from a pair of intelligent prosthetic legs.

Ellie May Challis contracted meningitis when she was just one year of age, in 2005. She defied death and came through it, but her limbs had to be removed to save her life. Now, whilst her arms still end at her elbows, her legs past her knees, are carbon fibre running legs.

The UK prosthetic limb centre Dorset Orthopaedic was responsible for creating the new legs, which was a significant engineering challenge as intelligent prosthetics had never been made so small before. A pair of UK National Health Service legs provided, were little more than metal poles, and gave her no benefit whatsoever.

The new ones, whilst nothing like as capable as a child's natural limbs, have transformed her life completely. After just three weeks of use, her parents commented that she was walking twice as fast as she was on the NHS legs, already.

Sadly, the Flex-foot prosthetics cost ?10,000 for a pair (US $16,000) and will need to be replaced every 24 months as she grows, with longer versions.

Her arms, are still waiting for prosthetic arm technology to catch up.

References

Dorset Orthopaedic - Life without limits

Brave girl Ellie May has a spring in her step

Youngest Patient Fitted With Carbon Fiber Leg Prostheses

Staff Comments

 


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