Texas girl can now ride bike with bionic arm

Published: Oct. 18, 2019 at 1:17 PM EDT
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A little girl in Texas born without a left arm can now ride a bike thanks to her new bionic arm.

Mady Gardner was born without her left arm below the elbow. But like any other 8-year-old, she enjoys sports, jumping rope and riding her bike.

"When she was first born, I know Mindy and I spent many nights dreading and saying all the things that we were afraid that she wasn't going to be able to do. And on every single occasion she's proved us wrong. She can do anything," Stephen Gardner, Mady's dad.

But while Mady used to have to slump on her bike seat, she's sitting straight up today. It's called the hero arm and with it Mady can do almost anything.

"At first I was scared when I learned how to ride my bike," Mady said.

The Hero Arm is made in England and billed as the first multi-grip bionic arm for children as young as 8-years-old.

"I wear it like a couple times a week and the times when I really want to try something new. Like put my hair up or ride a bike or jump rope or bake a cake," Mady said. "The arm is just a little extra something to help in the conversations with people. Instead of becoming, 'What happened to your arm?' It becomes, 'Wow, that's a really cool device you got there and how does that work and what can you do with it.' It can change the whole conversation."

Her parents say Mady is open to new things and it's emotional for them watching her persevere. "Proudest mom moment with her? You know I think riding the bike, she was most successful riding the bike," said Melinda, Mady's mother.

"I sit up straight and tall... and so when I'm done I can put my arm in the basket," Mady said. Teaching people that it's normal to be different. "It makes me feel really good because I know that other people really like that I'm different."