Grangemouth’s Kai could soon be bionic boy

Kai Bowman
Kai Bowman
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Little Kai Bowman’s eyes light up when he talks about his new right hand.

And the lively five-year-old from Duke Street, Grangemouth, gets even more excited when his parents mention the state-of-the-art bionic hand he will receive in a few years - if family and friends can stay on course with their fundraising endeavours.

Moray Primary School pupil Kai was born without a right hand due to an extremely rare condition called Symbrachydactyly, but he has never let it hold him back.

Mum Lorna (32) said: “Our older son Aaron is very shy - but not Kai. He’s a wee bit wild and I’m glad about that - he doesn’t let things bother him. We never knew about this condition when I was pregnant and only found out when Kai was born.

“They are not really sure what causes it.”

Dad Stuart (33) added: “He has the most severe form of the condition.”

As Kai got older Stuart and Lorna began looking into the possibility of giving their son a prosthetic hand. Their investigations eventually brought them to a cutting edge research organisation called Touch Bionics, which just so happened to be located in nearby Livingston.

“They have been developing some amazing things over the last 10 years,” said Stuart.

The hand which Kai will be fitted for at Touch Bionics on November 30 is not bionic, but it’s still pretty impressive.

Stuart said: “It will be a perfect match for his left hand - the size and skin tone.”

The hand, which Kai will receive in the New Year, will also prepare him for the more complex bionic hand his parents hope to present him with when he turns 14.

Lorna said: “Kai will just have to think about moving his hand and the impulses will make it move. The hands they are developing are so delicate they can even hold a light bulb without breaking it.”

That level of precision and technology comes at a price - in this case £25,000.

The Bowman family and friends plan to raise at least £6000 every year to give Kai the best possible future they can.

They have been greatly helped by the town’s Asda store and Cash for Kids and have held a number of fundraising events themselves, with another taking place in Grangemouth’s Lodge Zetland on Saturday, November 19, with 120 guests.

Kai is ecstatic he will get his new hand in the New Year - and the fact he will have the firmest handshake in town when he goes bionic in 2020.