My name is Ben and I’m 18. I come from Perth but currently live in Brisbane while doing an aircraft maintenance engineering apprenticeship with Qantas.
I was born without my left hand and my arm finishes just above the wrist. This hasn’t stopped me throughout my life as I enjoyed playing sports including soccer, cricket, basketball and squash. I joined the Air Force Cadets when I was 13 and achieved the highest rank, learnt to do shooting, gliding and flying.
I haven’t had any trouble coping with one hand and have learnt to adapt. I can drive a car without any modifications/restrictions, saved up to buy a 4WD and enjoy going four wheel driving and camping.
When I meet up with friends and play pool, I balance the cue on my left arm and am not too bad at it. The only time I’ve used a prosthesis is when I was learning to fly gliders and needed to pull a brake lever on the left hand side. Otherwise I find it easier to do things without one.
If people ask me about my hand, this doesn’t bother me, I just say I was born like that, it’s just like any other question for me.
A word from Ben’s mum Fiona – ‘We would have loved access to the experience and support of other families when Ben was born. Medical professionals didn’t refer us to any support groups, so I found a WA-based group myself, who then did a workshop with Aussie Hands a few years ago. Being part of the Aussie Hands community means I can hopefully alleviate some of those natural fears and issues that families have and help them look forward to plenty of proud and positive moments.’
Thanks to Ben and Fiona for sharing their story.
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