Bridlington girl Phoebe shows Prince William and Boris Johnson her bionic prosthetic arm at Who Cares Wins awards event

A girl from Bridlington who was born with no left arm past her elbow, has met Prince William at an awards event in London.

By Corinne Macdonald
Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 12:42 pm
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge talks with Phoebe. (Photo by Arthur Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge talks with Phoebe. (Photo by Arthur Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Phoebe Sinclair, 10, was invited to the event by the team at Open Bionics, who make Phoebe's bionic Hero Arm, and who were nominated in the Groundbreaking Pioneer or Discovery category.

Phoebe's dad Daniel attended the event with Phoebe where she met Prince William, Boris Johnson and Paralympian Lauren Steadman who won a gold medal in Toyko 2020.

Daniel said: "Phoebe was extremely nervous when meeting both Boris Johnson and Prince William and was quite overwhelmed by the experience.

Phoebe at the event. (Daniel Sinclair)

"This did not stop her from chatting away and talking about how her Hero Arm works and the customisations we've done to it (like the gold covers made for the event) since having it and she quickly eased into the conversations.

"The highlight of the evening was of course meeting his Royal Highness Prince William. But just being at the event was so exciting, to be honest, in a room full of celebrities who were completely open to talking to us freely. We approached a few and a few approached us to talk.

"Phoebe was extremely happy to have met Lauren Steadman who also wanted to talk to us."

The Heroarm is the world’s most affordable multi-grip prosthetic arm engineered and manufactured in the UK for adults and children aged eight and above.

Gold medal winner Lauren Steadman, Phoebe and Open Bionics ambassador Daniel Melville. (Daniel Sinclair)

Open Bionics has worked with Disney to develop a range of covers, featuring designs from Star Wars and Frozen.

Phoebe received her Hero Arm in January this year and dad Daniel explained it has helped with tasks such as carrying multiple things, peeling and eating bananas, opening books and baking.

Daniel said: "The simple things we take advantage of without realising.

"One of the first things Phoebe wanted to do after quickly becoming comfortable with the functionality of her Hero Arm was feeding her baby brother with one arm while securely holding him in the other.

Phoebe at the event. (Daniel Sinclair)

"This was a very special moment for us all as we realised just how far into the future Open Bionics would be helping Phoebe."

Outside of the house, Phoebe enjoys ice skating, wall climbing, swimming and trampolining and at home, baking, cooking, building Lego sets and drawing.

She is also an adamant TikTok-er wanting to show that her limb difference doesn't affect her abilities, especially now she has her Hero Arm.

Daniel explained that the Hero Arm has not only helped his daughter physically but also had a profound affect on her mentally.

He said: "Before receiving the Hero Arm, I had a fear that Phoebe's bubbly, constantly cheery personality would be compromised by other's misunderstanding and unawareness as she grows older.

"There have been many times where people, young and old, have pointed out Phoebe's limb difference in a less than positive way.

"Now, people still look and comment but it's always in a highly positive way.

"Children look with very envious eyes and are full of curious questions. What may have once been seen as a negative curiosity is now on the completely other end of the spectrum.

"My previous fears have been totally extinguished with the Hero Arm resulting in Phoebe's personality and confidence to grow massively.