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Watch this 8-year-old girl test out prosthetic built to help people surf






















An eight-year-old girl has become one of the first in the world to trial a new prosthetic arm - designed to help people surf.

Joanie Melady wore the new support mechanism created to help surfers with upper body limb differences to ‘pop-up’ on their board.

Joanie, from South Oxfordshire, UK, tried out the new prosthetic arm at Britain's largest inland surfing venue The Wave, Bristol.

Joanie was born with a congenital limb difference meaning that her left arm did not fully develop before birth.

Alan Melady, Joanie’s dad, said the prosthetic arm gave his daughter the confidence she needed to throw herself into the activity - and it turns out she is a "natural" on the water.

He said: “Joanie had never tried anything like this before but she’s really sporty and was super excited to get out there and give it a go. Turns out, she’s a natural!


“She smiled the whole time and as soon as she had ridden one wave in, she was straight back out there to catch the next one. The prosthetic gave her the confidence and support she needed to push up from the board to standing."

''I’ve surfed a few times before but she was way better than me! We’re so proud of her.”

UK startup Koalaa, which has been developing the tool for months, is on a mission to make prosthetics comfortable, affordable and accessible for anyone on the planet.

Amongst the surfers taking to the waves was Nicole Brennan, who has a below elbow limb difference and has worked closely with the team at Koalaa on the design of the new prosthetic.

The 'Nicole' - named in Ms. Brennan's honor, sees a soft fabric sleeve being worn that can be fitted with different tool attachments, depending on the task the user would like to do.
 

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