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RCN 1159572

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Nicky needs a hand: the fight to end two decades of phantom limb pain

Paratriathlete Nicola Wilding has fought chronic pain for the last two decades, after a life-changing car crash at the age of 22, where her quick thinking meant she was the only casualty. Supported by Superhero Foundation, a charity founded by Pride of Britain award winning fundraiser Jamie McDonald, amputee Nicola hopes to raise £80,000 for surgery and prosthetics to improve her quality of life. Nicola will be taking part in three gruelling challenges over the next two years and is hoping that the public can come together to support her with her mission.

Nicola Wilding, from South Croydon, has been living in constant pain for the last two decades, after a devastating car crash at the age of 22 left her without the use of her right arm.

Now in 2021, Nicolas goal is to once again have two working hands.

While driving along the A23 from Brighton, Nicola experienced a tyre blowout at 70 mph. Thinking quickly in the heat of the moment, she managed to avoid all other road users and steer the car onto the hard shoulder, however, without any crash barriers present on the road, Nicolas car clipped the curb and rolled.

Nicola, a 44 year old mum-of-one, suffered a severe brachial plexus injury, damaging the nerves in her right hand and forearm.

Since 1999, Nicola has undergone numerous muscle and nerve transplants in an attempt to restore function, all while raising her now-26 year old son alone.

Nicola kept herself fit through cycling, running and swimming, but after years of frustration and sick of nerve and phantom limb pain, she begged doctors to remove the redundant hand and partial limb.

After being refused the removal of her hand in her twenties, Nicola waited until 2017 for elective amputation and reconstructive surgery to help restore the nerve pathways in her arm.

Through general fundraising and with the help of friends and family, Nicola has managed to raise an amazing £30,000. However, to continue with her treatment, Nicola needs to raise a further £50,000.

The money will be used to provide Nicola with a Bebionic hand, one of the worlds most lifelike prosthetics, as well as further operations to reconstruct and restore nerve pathways. With the specialised prosthetic costing upwards of £30,000, Nicolas choices are to raise enough money for the operation or opt for further amputation to reduce her pain.

The particular prosthesis sought after is a ground-breaking myoelectric model designed to be connected to motor nerve sites and connected via electrodes where a strong signal is found. To move the prosthetic hand, Nicola will need to think about and practice an action so the signals can be read and the action completed.

About the charity

Superhero Foundation

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RCN 1159572
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