'It's fantastic to be back in my uniform!' - Sheffield nurse back on the ward after having bionic arm fitted by colleagues

Liz Wright with orthopaedic hand surgeon Miss Meg Birks
Liz Wright with orthopaedic hand surgeon Miss Meg Birks
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A Sheffield nurse who had her arm amputated due to a genetic condition, has returned to work after having a bionic hand fitted by her colleagues.

Liz Wright, who is now back to work as a staff nurse at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, had the state-of-the-art bionic arm fitted which allows her to continue working.

Liz with Dr Ramesh Munjal, consultant in Specialised Mobility & Rehabilitation and his team

Liz with Dr Ramesh Munjal, consultant in Specialised Mobility & Rehabilitation and his team

The 43-year-old suffers from Madelung’s deformity, a genetic condition causing pain in her arms and wrists, meaning she has had to wear plaster casts to support her arm for over 30 years.

In the last few years her condition worsened and Liz was experiencing even more pain and difficulties meaning that she could no longer continue to work.

It was at this point when Liz, along with support from specialists at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, made the brave decision to have her right arm amputated. The operation went ahead at the Northern General Hospital’s Sheffield Hand Centre.

Liz’s main aim was to return to the job she loved and after making an excellent recovery was back at work just 10 weeks post amputation with a cosmetic arm fitted. However Liz now found her left arm was tiring due to carrying out tasks with one hand.

Just over a month later the Trust fitted Liz with a bionic hand. The hand is designed to provide the most true-to-life movements enabling Liz to perform tasks with her prosthetic hand.

Liz said: “I can’t praise the Hand Centre and Mobility & Rehabilitation unit enough for the excellent work they have done with my amputation, my bionic arm and ultimately getting me back to work which has always been my main aim.”

“This has allowed me to continue in a job I am passionate about and as I am aware, I am the only working nurse with a bionic arm. It is fantastic to be back in my uniform!”

Dr Ramesh Munjal, consultant in Specialised Mobility & Rehabilitation at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals said: “I saw Liz for a pre-amputation consultation and was really impressed with her enthusiasm to work again. Due to the severe pain and deformity resulting from her condition, I advised that she may be able to achieve this using the bionic arm after amputation.”

Miss Meg Birks, Orthopaedic Hand Surgeon at the Sheffield Hand Centre said: “Liz has recovered amazingly well, she is much better in herself and getting back to a life she can enjoy.”