5 year-old boy is youngest ever to receive bionic arm: ‘I am Iron Man’

Five-year-old Jordan Marotta from Long Island has become the youngest person ever to be fitted with a bionic arm

In a groundbreaking medical milestone, five-year-old Jordan Marotta from Long Island has become the youngest person ever to be fitted with a bionic arm. The arm, a Hero Arm designed by Open Bionics, is themed after Iron Man, and has brought immense joy and newfound abilities to Jordan’s life.

Last week, Jordan received his new prosthetic, and footage captured his immediate embrace of the device. Just hours after the fitting, he was seen confidently riding his scooter, using the prosthetic’s lifelike grip to hold the handlebars.

“It’s really fun and it’s cool,” Jordan shared, clearly excited about his new ability to control the hand. “I like to play with the hand and make it open and close.”

Jordan’s journey to receiving the bionic arm began when he started questioning his mother, Ashley Marotta, about why his left hand hadn’t “grown back.” Ashley had learned about his limb difference during a routine 20-week pregnancy scan. Doctors couldn’t pinpoint a specific cause, leaving Ashley initially distressed. However, she found solace and strength by connecting with resources and stories of other children with similar conditions who had thrived.

“No child is ‘perfect,’ but you hear the expression all the time, ‘ten fingers and ten toes,’ and you don’t really know what that means until you have to,” Ashley reflected. “Luckily, I was able to do some research and reach out to find a lot of really good resources, and I think that helped prepare me for his arrival and what to expect.”

As Jordan grew older and more curious about his limb difference, Ashley decided to explore the possibility of a prosthetic. She reached out to Open Bionics, a UK-based company that also has an office in New York.

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Given Jordan's size and strength for his age, they decided to give him a chance to trial their Hero Arm, even though he was younger than their usual patients.

“Jordan is on the bigger side for his age. So I really sold them on his muscles,” Ashley said. Her persistence paid off. After a successful trial, Open Bionics agreed to fit Jordan with the Hero Arm, making him the youngest recipient of their advanced prosthetic technology.

Upon receiving his new arm, Jordan’s transformation was immediate. “As soon as we left with Jordan’s Hero Arm, he was running around with so much confidence, trying to hail New York taxis,” Ashley recalled. The Hero Arm has a remarkable impact on his day-to-day activities and his overall confidence.

“You can’t even put a number on how amazing that is. It is worth its weight in gold,” Ashley added. The first thing Jordan wanted to do when he got home was ride his scooter and, for the first time, hold on with both hands.

Jordan’s story is not just about a technological marvel but also about perseverance and hope. In a sweet and poignant video, Jordan offered his advice to others facing challenges: “Don’t give up. Just don’t give up.”

Ashley feels fortunate that her health insurance covered the cost of the bionic arm. She noted how quickly Jordan adapted to using it in his daily life. “I sent a video of him, and they said, ‘I can’t believe how quickly he’s picking it up’.”

The impact of the Hero Arm on Jordan’s life is profound, allowing him to perform tasks that were previously challenging. The device's intuitive design lets him control the prosthetic with ease, opening up new possibilities for play and interaction.

Jordan’s inspiring journey with his bionic arm showcases the remarkable advances in prosthetic technology and highlights the importance of accessibility and support for children with limb differences. His story is a beacon of hope and a reminder that with the right tools and encouragement, children can overcome significant challenges and lead fulfilling lives.

As technology continues to advance, stories like Jordan’s demonstrate the potential for innovation to transform lives. Jordan’s newfound joy and capability with his Hero Arm underscore the power of resilience and the incredible impact that modern prosthetics can have on young lives.

Jordan Marotta’s experience is a testament to the courage and determination of children and their families in the face of adversity. His journey with the Hero Arm serves as an inspiration to all, reminding us that with perseverance and support, anything is possible.

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Rebecca Shavit is the Good News, Psychology, Behavioral Science, and Celebrity Good News reporter for the Brighter Side of News.