Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Girl, 11, receives R2-D2 ‘bionic arm’ and phone call from Mark Hamill

Bella showed off her arm during a Skype call with Mark Hamill (Open Bionics/PA)
Bella showed off her arm during a Skype call with Mark Hamill (Open Bionics/PA)

An 11-year-old Star Wars fan and amputee has received an R2-D2 bionic limb and a phone call from Luke Skywalker himself.

Bella Tadlock, from Tallahassee, Florida, in the US, raised almost 14,000 dollars (about £11,000) for her bionic hero arm, created by Bristol company Open Bionics.

Her fundraiser first caught the eye of actor Mark Hamill in November, who retweeted her appeal to his 3.6 million followers.

She became the first person in the United States to receive the advanced multi-grip arm in the style of R2-D2, and was able to show it off during a Skype call to Hamill, where she demonstrated picking up a bottle with her new hand.

Hamill told her: “That is great – that is so fantastic. I’m so happy that you were able to have this happen for you.”

Bella Tadlock
The Star Wars fan was inspired by Luke Skywalker’s story (Open Bionics/PA)

Hamill, who famously got his own bionic hand as Skywalker, then went on to answer lots of fan questions Bella had about the Star Wars universe.

The arm is one of several hero arms manufactured by Open Bionics.

It works by picking up signals from muscles in the residual limb. The company has a royalty-free licensing agreement with Lucasfilm to produce Star Wars cover designs for their bionic arms.

Bella Tadlock
Bella demonstrates her new arm (Open Bionics/PA)

Bella said: “I now have two hands – I am so excited. I will be able to ride my bike, create in the kitchen and be like my friends. To be able to bend my fingers and pick things up is a dream come true.”

Bella was born without fingers on her right hand and with her left arm shorter than her right.

After several operations, she now has three fingers and a thumb on her right hand, but wanted a non-surgical option for her left hand.

Bella’s mum, Pamela Tadlock, said: “This is completely life-changing. Since Isabella was adopted at a few weeks old she has overcome huge obstacles and endured many surgeries.

“Now she has a hand, with no surgery and no pain. I’m so grateful to Open Bionics and Hanger Clinic. Bella likes Luke Skywalker because he lost a hand and was adopted like her.”

In February a military veteran who lost part of his arm in Afghanistan became the first person to receive a 3D-printed “hero arm” on the NHS.

Darren “Daz” Fuller lost the lower part of his right arm in Afghanistan in 2008 during an incident with mortar ammunition.

The new multi-grip arm was funded through the NHS Veterans’ Prosthetics Panel.

Samantha Payne, Open Bionics co-founder, said: “We’re delighted that Bella loves her new R2-D2 arm, and it’s fantastic that Mark Hamill, who is a role model to limb-different children worldwide, is so proactive in letting these kids know that they have the admiration and support of one of the galaxy’s biggest heroes.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in