A 7-year-old Canadian boy is leaving other swimmers in his wake with help from a new prosthetic hand device—and Pikachu.
In an article posted Dec. 20, HighRiverOnline tells the story of Frank Ulloa of Okotoks, Alberta, who was born with a partial amputation of his right hand.
He has taken his swimming to a new level after receiving help from a grant from the War Amps Child Amputee program. Frank chose a picture of Pikachu, the popular Pokémon character, for the back of the waterproof blue device that is the shape of a cupped hand.
Frank says he’s noticed the difference in his swimming and his confidence.
“I’m proud to be an amputee, and you shouldn’t be worried to be different,” he tells HighRiverOnline.
His mother, Sarah, sees the difference too.
“As Frank got a little higher through swimming and they were doing more lengths across the pool, he was having a harder time pushing the water evenly, and you could see it as he swam,” Sarah says. “One arm kind of cut through the water, and the other arm pushed as it should.
“The swim hand makes Frank able to pull the water evenly with both hands around him. It allows for even strokes and gives him a lot of confidence in the water as well, and as he grows it allows for muscle balance as he learns to swim longer.”