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Thursday, 15 March, 2001, 15:51 GMT
Bionic arms for 11-year-old
Diamond Excell, the 11-year-old who has had bionic arms fitted
Diamond Excell, the 11-year-old who has had bionic arms fitted
An 11-year-old American girl can hug her mother for the first time after being fitted with two bionic arms.

Diamond Excell was born without shoulders or arms.

Charity fundraising has now allowed her to be fitted with bionic arms worth around 50,000.

Diamond said: "I was thinking that I couldn't hold my mum and show her how appreciative I am."


I was thinking that I couldn't hold my mum and show her how appreciative I am

Diamond Exell, 11
Before the operation, she used her feet to do everything, including, writing, eating, and even brushing her teeth.

Her mother Dahlia said: "She's a very happy child, very happy. She's never depressed and she's just strong.

Diamond with her bionic arms
Diamond with her bionic arms
"She's determined and she has given me strength at times when I was discouraged."

The new electronic arms will revolutionise her life.

Prosthetics experts had some difficulties designing the electronic arms for Diamond because she did not have any shoulder sockets.

Ivan Yaeger, inventor, said: "We're still not at the age where you would see something like the six-million dollar man.

"So there's a lot of work to be done to get the full function of artificial limbs."

Diamond's next challenge, she says, is to learn to ride a bike.

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See also:

22 Nov 00 | Health
'Bionic' hand success hailed
22 Oct 00 | Health
Living with a dead man's hand
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