Chris Taylor uses bionic hand to cuddle his grandson
BEAMING Chris Taylor tenderly holds his newborn grandson – with his state-of-the-art bionic hand.
The engineer is the first person in the UK to get use of the amazing technology.
It means Chris, 58, will be able to pick up Oliver, who was born last Tuesday, and even help change his nappies.
And as Ollie grows up, grandad-of-two Chris will be able to play catch and other games he wouldn't otherwise have been able to.
Chris, from Ivybridge, said: "It's such a brilliant start to the year for me."
The Michelangelo hand reacts to Chris's muscle movements in his forearm.
It means he can now grip and hold things for the first thing since a horrific jet ski accident in 2009 changed his life.
He explained: "It's been a struggle for me particularly in my job, which is quite physical.
"The hardest part has been having to ask people for help.
"The NHS has been brilliant to me. I couldn't fault it. But when something like this happens to you, you develop an interest in it."
Chris, his wife Wendy and their children Wayne, Adam [Oliver's dad] and Carly spent endless hours online researching prosthetic limbs when they came across the £47,000 Michelangelo hand, made by German company Otto Bock.
The hand, made from metal, alloys and plastic, has a motorised thumb allowing Chris to grip and hold things.
Chris said: "Before, I couldn't do silly things like chop fruit and vegetables, because you need one hand to grip and another to cut.
"I don't have a sense of touch though, so I still have to be careful I don't squash the tomatoes."
With new grandson Oliver now in his life, it is the happiest Chris has been since the accident.
As The Herald reported at the time, Chris had looped rope around his right arm, which was still attached to a jet ski when he fell off in to the water.
The jet ski shot forward pulling the rope – and Chris's hand – with it.
Chris said: "I must have opened my hand up to land and the rope slipped to my wrist.
"It's strange, I didn't feel anything. My adrenaline kicked in and although I was bleeding, it wasn't like you'd imagine.
"The arteries were cut clean so they constricted. I was expecting to see blood squirting out but I didn't actually lose too much blood."
Although his life has already been dramatically improved by the Michelangelo Hand, Chris is confident the technology will keep advancing.
He said: "This will make a huge difference to my life, but it can only get better.
"I'm constantly on YouTube and seeing things they are trialing in the States.
"There's a hand at the moment which connects to the nerves, so you would only have to think of the movement you want for the brain to send a signal to the nerve, rather than consciously make the required muscle movement.
"Technology is getting better all the time. Things like the war in Afghanistan have pushed the advancement in prosthetic limbs."