Huntington University soccer player helps teen get bionic hand

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A Huntington University soccer player might be considered the best friend ever, after he and a group of friends helped another friend get a bionic arm.  Sam Barrett and his friends won a contest that made Torri Biddle, 19, her dreams come true.

Barrett said he and his friends began the quest by starting a donation drive through Twitter, called #handforTori.  They were able to raise $1,500 before one of Barrett’s friends found a contest through The Buried Life.

“Our friend found the contest called, ‘What do you want to do before you die?’,” Barrett said.  “We said we wanted to get Tori a hand.”

Torri Biddle said her arm never formed properly because of a birth defect.

Barrett and his friends won the contest, and flew Biddle out to Los Angeles where she was surprised with the news.  Biddle said she thought she was going to California to interview for a scholarship.

Biddle broke into tears when she was told the news.  “I was basically in shock,” Biddle told NewsChannel 15.

Last fall, Biddle went to the Hanger Clinic in Toledo, Ohio to get measured for her new arm.  She said the bionic arm connects to her nerve muscles in her arm that are used for opening and closing her hand.  While she said she was used to life as only a lefty, Biddle said it’s been nice adjusting to her new life.

“It’s the simple things, like tying your shoes,” Biddle said.  “And curling your hair, threading a needle, it’s so much easier and faster to do those things.  Before, I couldn’t do them as easy as my friends could, and now I can.”

Biddle and her friends hope to make another person’s dream come true.  Her story has been put up on YouTube, and if it gets a million views, her doctors will donate another bionic hand.

Click here to watch Torri’s video.

“It’s crazy to think it started from a Twitter hashtag, and now she has a hand and pretty soon, maybe someone else will get a hand, too,” Barrett said.

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