A FIRST-time dad who lost both legs, his hand and most of his fingers when he was a child, is hoping to get a bionic hand to help him look after his new son.

Danny Florence, from New Brancepeth, near Durham, was five when he contracted meningococcal septicaemia, which meant he lost his right hand, three of the fingers on his left hand and both of his lower legs.

Since then, he has relied on prosthetic legs, an electric wheelchair and help from his friends and family to get about.

But since becoming a dad about 10 weeks ago, the 26-year-old is determined to raise enough money to but a bionic hand so he can do his share of nappy changing.

He said: “I’ve always managed but with having the little one there are so many things I can’t do. I can pick him up and feed him but that’s about it.

The Northern Echo:

One of the tasks Danny Florence can do for 10-week-old Joshua is give him a feed

“I can’t change a nappy or get his clothes on or even put on his hat.”

Mr Florence, who works at Atom Bank, in Durham, and is also studying for a degree in computing and IT from the Open University, hopes the 3D printed hand will be just as life-changing for his partner, Danielle Lilley, 24.

He added: “I think if I got this it would change my partner’s life more than anyone because she has to do everything at the moment.

“She wants to go back to work after her maternity leave is over but she wouldn’t be able to without me being able to look after him.”

The 3D printed hand, made by Open Bionics, would cost somewhere between £8,500 and £10,000.

The company, which was founded in 2014, designs a range of state-of-the-art upper limb prosthetics, which include sensors to detect muscle movements, making it possible to easily control the hand.

The Northern Echo:

First-time dad Danny Florence enjoying time with Joshua

Among the people to already have one is Consett youngster Tilly Lockey, from Blackhill, who lost both her hands to childhood meningitis.

Mr Florence first made inquiries about getting the custom-fitted hand about six months ago but decided to take the plunge with fundraising after finding out first hand how limited he was in taking care of Joshua, who was born in December.

If he manages to raise enough money to get a hand made, Mr Florence would be able to do more things for himself, as well as his son.

He said: “As soon as he was born I knew it was something I had to try.

“It would allow me to to do things like bathe him and change his nappy but I’d also be able to do more stuff for myself.

“I would be able to dress myself and chop up my own food.

“It would be huge, I can’t even explain how much it would change my life.”

He added: “I’m excited about that I would be able to do. It’s going to take a long time to learn how to do things again because 20 years without it a long time, but I’m just looking forward to it.

“I’m not counting my chickens yet but I’m hopeful I might be able to raise enough money.”

He started fundraising a couple of weeks ago and has so far raised about £400.

He is hoping to organise events to raise as much money as possible, as well as through his online crowdfunding page.

To donate, or find out more about Mr Florence’s story, visit www.gofundme.com/dh6cdy-give-danny-a-hand.