Bionic Christmas dream comes true for Doncaster boy, four

A four-year-old boy has had a life-long dream come for Christmas after gaining a bionic hand - so he open his presents.

Friday, 23rd December 2016, 10:09 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 1:57 pm
Brooklyn Bretnall-Croydon, four, from Doncaster, was born with one hand missing. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

South Yorkshire lad Brooklyn Brentnall-Croydon is set for a magical Christmas after receiving a 3D-printed Iron Man hand to be just like his idol Tony Stark.

The family of the youngster who was born with one hand had appealed to any tech boffins who could create an artificial hand for Brooklyn after the youngster had asked for Santa for a bike.

Brooklyn Bretnall-Croydon, four, from Doncaster, was born with one hand missing. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

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But his dreams came true just in time for Christmas after a technology school came to the rescue of the family’s social media plea.

The tech marvel opens and closes when Brooklyn flexes his wrist - meaning he can shred through Santa’s presents just like his school friends.

But the delighted youngster is awaiting the prospect of Father Christmas bringing him a bike - so he can ride for the first time.

His mum Marie Brentnall, 38, of Doncaster, said: “This is just a dream come true for us - it has completed our Christmas.

Brooklyn Bretnall-Croydon, four, from Doncaster, was born with one hand missing. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

“Now he’s got two hands, he thinks he’s a superhero now - he loves all The Avengers stuff - but Brooklyn has always been a little superhero in our eyes.”

Marie’s mum Jacqui Housley, 58, had posted a plea on a local community forum and it was picked up by Shotton Hall Academy in Durham who came to the rescue.

Retired food tech teacher Jacqui had posted in a Facebook teaching group begging the question - which was eventually picked up by the North East college in October.

And now little Brooklyn will have the most magical Christmas after receiving the new hand with a week to go.

The youngster will now be able to play with two toys, grip a knife and fork and eventually, with practice, tie his shoelaces.

Asked about what she thought about the piece of tech, Marie said: “Words do not do justice the moment Brooklyn saw the hand for the first time and realised what was going on.

“At first he wasn’t sure, but he’s honestly over the moon - we all are.

“Everything was going through my mind, it was a chance for our little boy to do things other children take for granted.

“There are so many things you have to think about when your child doesn’t have a hand.

“Riding a bike and holding two toys at a time is just so brilliant - but even managing to use a knife and fork at once.

“He’ll be able to practice holding a cup and if he’s lucky also a bike on Christmas Day - that will be a dream come true for all of us.

The mother-of-one added: “We cannot thank Shotton Hall Academy enough for what they have done.”

If Santa fulfils Brooklyn’s wish then he will also be learning to ride a bike for a very first time on Christmas Day morning.

Doting dad Scott Croydon, 34, a store supervisor, added: “I think it’s marvellous, perfect and I really want one as well.

“He doesn’t let anything stop him and seeing him using the hand is just truly wonderful.”

The school took two months from seeing the post in October to completing the working hand on December 14 - just in time for Christmas.

Each part of the hand, including the fixings and screws, were printed separately over a 20 hour period.

School pupils also got in on the act to help construct Brooklyn’s new limb in just a single day while using instructions from a YouTube video.

Head of Design Technology at Shotton Hall Academy Scott Bradley said: “I saw a post on Facebook by Jacqui asking if anyone could make a 3D-printed hand.

“After seeing the heartwarming post and having a four-year-old myself we just had to make it come true.

“We had the technology, the 3D-printer so it just went from there.”

Adding: “It’s just great that the technology can produce something so instrumental to this young lad’s life.”

Mr Bradley has also vowed to adapt the hand and remake the device once Brooklyn grows out of his current version.