Chloe Holmes (pictured) lost all her fingers to septicaemia as a toddler and has never been able to pick things up for herself.
But her parents have now forked out £38,000 for a full set of bionic left digits which are controlled by electronic signals from the nerve endings in her hand.
Chloe is now learning basic tasks such as cleaning her teeth and using a knife and fork for the first time.
She said: ''Growing up has been really difficult. I can't play sports or anything and I can't hold things.
''The best thing about my new hand is that now I can hold things. It is quite difficult, but I am getting used to it.
''I'm looking forward to going back to school so everyone can see it.''
Chloe, of Swindon, Wilts., contracted streptococcal septicaemia after being struck down with chicken pox aged three-and-a-half.
She spent three months in Bristol Children's Hospital, where her heart stopped four times and doctors feared she might not survive.
Chloe lost all the fingers on her left hand and was left with one thumb and half a finger on her right hand.
But her life has changed forever after being fitted with the bionic fingers, made by Touch Bionics in Scotland.
Parents Sue and Pete, both 41, said they never had second thoughts despite the cost.
''I sat down with Chloe and talked about it, and she said it was too much money,'' said Sue.
''But we decided if it is going to help her and if she is going to use it, then it was something that we had to do.
''We are all chuffed to bits with it and it is so much better than we thought it would be. I didn't think the fingers would all move individually but they do, it is great.
''We were nervous going through the whole process because it is all new. They have only been doing it for about 18 months.
''But it has completely changed her life, she can now do the simplest things, like cleaning her teeth and cutting up her own food.''
The hand, which has been made specifically to fit Chloe's hand, is fitted with sensors in the sleeve which enable her to control the digits.
Chloe is the youngest and first person outside of America to have the bionic fingers, which has put her at the centre of attention on numerous occasions
Dad Pete said: ''I got her to come and collect my pint from the bar the other day and people just couldn't believe it.''
Sue added ''She got stopped coming through customs when we came back from Scotland and they swabbed her arm for drugs.
''They had never seen anything like it before but said they had to follow the rules. Chloe gave them a bit of a demonstration and they were stunned.
''We are just absolutely delighted with it, it has made a huge difference to her life.''
Friday, August 26, 2011
The Telegraph in the UK:
Posted by BA Haller at 10:14 PM