Layla’s Groundbreaking Robotic Arm Gives Her More Independence

When 13-year-old Layla Brunger from Sittingbourne was one year old, her mum Ann noticed she began to fall over and instinctively knew something wasn’t right. Following tests, Ann was told that Layla was suffering from SMA Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a condition where mobility is impaired through muscle wasting. Her condition deteriorated so much that within two years of diagnosis she needed a wheelchair.

When she was eight, Layla developed mobility problems with her right arm. The situation became steadily worse over the next five years. Ann heard about the trialling of a groundbreaking new robotic arm at the Orchards Centre in Sittingbourne, where Layla attends. She trialled the robotic arm and the results were so encouraging that the Orchards Centre put her in touch with Donations with a Difference, who provided her mum with a grant of £2,536, which covered the full costs.

The robotic arm was built specifically for Layla and arrived at the beginning of October. Layla, who attends Westlands School in Sittingbourne, said, “I love it; I can now brush my hair, reach more, put my hand up in class, put on make up, and it is also helping me with writing.”

“The Robotic arm has given Layla more independence and we’re grateful for the funding help that was provided by DWAD”, remarked her mum Ann.