Girl, five, who was called ‘snake arm’ by bullies because of a birth defect that left her without part of her limb feels like a ‘superhero’ after being fitted with a prosthetic hand
- Lottie Wilson-Dale, from Brighton, was born with amniotic band syndrome
- Occurs when tissue wraps around arm, causing it to be amputated in the womb
- After three years on a waiting list, she was fitted with the prosthetic in January
A five-year-old girl who was bullied for being born without a left forearm now feels like a ‘superhero’ after being fitted with a prosthetic hand.
Lottie Wilson-Dale was born with amniotic band syndrome, when fibrous string-like tissue wraps around a limb, which restricts its blood flow and can cause it to be amputated in the womb.
Cruel bullies would call the youngster ‘snake arm’ because of her limb, which ends just below her elbow and thins towards her wrist.
After three years on a waiting list for a prosthetic, Lottie was finally given a yellow and pink artificial limb in January for free.
Lottie, of Brighton, can already throw a ball, play with dolls and draw with her new hand.
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Lottie Wilson-Dale feels like a ‘superhero’ after being fitted with a prosthetic hand (pictured)
The five-year-old was born without a left forearm (seen left) due to amniotic band syndrome. Her mothers Michelle Dale (right in right image) and Natalie Wilson (left) claim the prosthetic has transformed her confidence. They are pictured with her brother Reuben, two
Lottie’s mother Michelle Dale, 47, said: ‘The new prosthetic arm has made her feel like a superhero and her confidence has grown massively.
‘It was important for me and Natalie Wilson [Lottie’s other mother, 35] to apply for the prosthetic arm, as we don’t ever want her to get bullied or feel left out as she gets older.
‘We also want her left pectoral muscle to develop as much as it can to avoid her having one pectoral bigger than the other, it will only give people another excuse to pick on her or may effect her developing the same later as a woman.
‘Lottie can now alternate between arms when playing with her barbies, hold the paper when colouring and pick up light items like an empty milk carton.
‘She loves playing with her little brother and even finds the tidying up enjoyable now too!’
The prosthetic, crafted by charity Team UnLimbited, has given Lottie a new lease of life and she could not wait to show it off.
Ms Dale, a revenue manager, said: ‘She was so excited to go to school and surprise her teacher by passing her lunch choice on the piece of paper with her new hand, which actually moved her teacher to tears.
‘She absolutely loves it and so do most the boys at her school, they think it is really cool.’
Bullies would call Lottie’s limb (pictured left) ‘snake arm’ and ‘hook hand’. Since having the prosthetic made in January, she has learnt how to colour in with her new hand (seen right)
Ms Wilson is pictured fitting the prosthetic on Lottie’s arm, which she is ‘so excited’ about
As a toddler (pictured left), other children in the park would tease Lottie and even parents stared. She finally had the prosthetic (right) fitted after three years on the waiting list
Lottie’s arm made her the victim of cruel bullies, with even adults staring at her birth defect.
‘There have been times when other children tease Lottie in the park and say “ew look at her snake arm” or “hook hand” and surround her, pull her or have run away,’ Ms Dale said.
‘It isn’t just children, but parents too, who tend to stare a lot which is so upsetting for us as parents.’
Despite all she has endured, Lottie accepted her condition for most of her life.
‘It is only recently Lottie has started to question why she is “different” and wonders why her little brother Ruben has two hands and she doesn’t,’ Ms Dale said.
‘When she asks us about her arm, we just remind her she is even more special and it will never stop us from loving her.
‘We tell her often she is special and everyone is born differently and give her examples like some people have no legs, some people have red hair whilst others have blue eyes.’
Although thrilled with the results, Lottie’s parents are aware she will need new prosthetics as she grows.
‘I am hoping prosthetics will become more affordable so we don’t have to worry about that when she’s old enough,’ Ms Dale said.
‘We were fortunate enough to receive her 3D plastic hand for free this time from the amazing charity as it has helped make her feel like other children her age.
‘The help from this charity and Brighton Rehabilitation centre making adaptions have been amazing.’
Team UnLimbited is a collaboration between Drew Murray and Stephen Davies, who design, build, fit and deliver 3D printed hands and arms for free.
The limbs have flexible arms, which are operated by leads running from the user’s elbow.
The charity has built around 100 devices for people between four and 70 years old in the UK since its 2015 launch.
Pictured before she received the prosthetic, Lottie accepted her defect until recently
Her new limb enables the youngster to play like any other child and she loves her hula hoop
WHAT IS AMNIOTIC BAND SYNDROME?
Amniotic band syndrome (ABS) occurs when an unborn baby becomes entangled in fibrous string-like tissue that restricts its blood flow.
It affects around one in 1,200 live births worldwide and is believed to be the cause of 178 in 10,000 miscarriages.
If the bands wrap around a limb, it may become amputated in the womb. If across the face, it can cause clefts.
Miscarriages can occur if the band wraps around the umbilical cord.
Up to 31.5 per cent of clubfoots are associated with ABS.
It can also cause webbed digits, nail deformities and stunted bone growth.
ABS occurs randomly and is not genetic or a result of the mothers’ actions.
Surgery can free babies of such bands in the womb.
Procedures can also help to rectify webbed digits, while prosthetics can aid amputations.
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