A DAD who lost both legs, his hand and most of his fingers when he was a child is set to get a bionic hand just in time for Christmas.

Danny Florence, from Durham, decided to try and raise funds for a bionic hand earlier this year after becoming a dad for the first time.

The 26-year-old had raised about half of the money needed when Maxon, which works with Open Bionics on the prosthetic, agreed to sponsor him.

He is now having an Open Bionics Hero Arm fitted this month – which he hopes will mean he can finally do his share of looking after his son Joshua, who celebrates his first birthday on Wednesday.

He said: "I’ve always managed well with only one hand but when my son Joshua came along ago, I realised how much more I could do with two.

"I'm incredibly excited. It's going to make a massive difference in my life, and hopefully Joshua's as well."

The Northern Echo:

Danny Florence, with his son Joshua, in February when he launched his campaign to raise money for a bionic hand

He, and his partner Danielle Lilley, had anticipated having issues with dexterous tasks like nappy changing and getting the baby dressed, but had not realised how much not doing these things would affect the bond with his son.

Mr Florence was five when he contracted meningococcal septicaemia, causing him to lose his right hand, three of the finders of his left hand and both of his lower legs.

He relies on prosthetic legs, an electric wheelchair and help from friends and family to get about, but is hoping the new hand will help him take a more active role at home.

The Atom Bank worker had a socket fitting in November and is due to get the new hand next week and is hoping Joshua will be quick to adjust.

He said: "He loves my prosthetic legs, he gets all excited and laughs when I put them on and likes to touch them.

“These days prosthetic designs look much better and all my nieces and nephews think I’m bionic!”

He is now hoping to raise more awareness about the prosthesis, which he things should be available on the NHS.

He said: "This technology should be offered to everyone. This is life-changing, not only for the obvious physical side but mentally as well.

"People who lose limbs can get very depressed, struggling with the ongoing pain and mourning the life they had before. They can even contemplate suicide.

"This hand has such huge benefits, it should be available on the NHS and I want to help the cause to make that happen.”

He added: "I'd like to say thank you to Maxon as well as everyone who raised money. We had a huge amount of people come forward to help and all that money will be used to for the maintenance of the hand."

Open Bionics designs and manufactures the prosthetic limb, which uses an actuator, designed by Maxon, to move each finger.

The actuator consists of a motor driving a customised gearbox and lead screw and nut, developed for the speed of each user.

As muscles generate electrical signals when they contract, they create movement when connected to the electrodes in the prosthetic.

Despite not having used the muscles for 21 years, Mr Florence was amazed when he could use the hand at his first fitting.