Isabella’s parents first discovered e-NABLE through their Facebook page and simply watched as more videos and stories were shared, until they were intrigued enough to ask Isabella if she would be interested in trying one of the devices herself. She jumped at the opportunity. Thanks to Drew Murray I was put in contact with the UK Organization “Reach” who then asked me to help.
I decided to try and improve upon the design of the RIT arm, and wanted to be able to use the brand new experimental phoenix hand on it. So after a lot of hard work I designed the RIT adapter block. After completion I traveled a 200 mile round trip to deliver the experimental design to 8 year old Isabella, from Bristol UK. She is now one of our new Beta testers that will help us develop stronger and better arm designs for our many eager recipients on our wait list.
Isabella opened her present, and within seconds had put the arm on herself and was opening and closing the fingers. Her wide smile of wonderment will live with me always. As my first recipient it would always be special, but Isabella made it especially so. This day will remain with me as one of the best days ever. Truly nectar for the soul.
Her father, Matt, writes: “The impact on Isabella’s confidence was almost immediate, she’s never been a shy girl but we are aware of when she is self conscious, particularly in public places where she tends to get the odd unwanted stare or whispered question. The gadget is so bright and bold that she insisted on wearing it to the local supermarket straight after she got it and proudly strutted around wanting the world to see it. She’s been keen to show it off and explain how it works ever since she got it and to almost anyone that will listen
Matt shares his thoughts on how much it meant to them that the device was created and gifted to them by another recipient: “Stephen was amazing too – a real highlight of this experience for us. The fact that Stephen has an e-NABLE hand himself and that he’s also a parent, meant that he not only understood from a user perspective what this would do for Isabella but he was able to make her feel at ease with the whole situation. It was incredible.
We are just so grateful to Stephen and the e-NABLE community for the time and energy they have invested in making this happen. The look on Isabella’s face as she realized what she could now do, will live with us forever as will the patience and good nature of Stephen in how he dealt with Isabella on a one to one level.”