One-armed Romford motorcyclist's fundraiser for new prosthetic limb

Elizabeth Southwick on motoerbike

Motorbike enthusiast Elizabeth Southwick has never let having one arm hold her back - Credit: Elizabeth Southwick

A woman born with one arm is fundraising for a bionic limb to pursue her dreams of becoming a motorbike racer. 

Elizabeth Southwick, 47, was born missing her left arm below the elbow and needs to raise over £10,000 for a Hero Arm which has a movable wrist and fingers. 

The Romford woman told this paper: “I’ve always wanted to get a motorbike, but was always told it’s too dangerous.  

“Everyone kept putting me off it, but I found myself a school and learnt to ride.” 

Son Alfie Southwick, 22, would ride with her and partner Neil Meekings and even fixed old prosthetic limbs onto a motorbike to make riding easier for Elizabeth.


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However, Elizabeth worries the make-shift bike isn’t safe and hopes to buy the new Hero Arm from Open Bionics, which is not available on the NHS. 

Open Bionics describes its Hero Arm, which is manufactured in Bristol, as the "world's most affordable multi-grip bionic arm, with multi-grip functionality and empowering aesthetics".

Open Bionics Hero Arm

The Hero Arm is lighter and includes 'multi-grip versatility' - Credit: Open Bionics

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Elizabeth added: “I really want to get it but it’s so expensive. 

“Using bulky, heavy electric arms has caused me posture problems, and I want to be able to  do corners and swerving safely.” 

Elizabeth Southwick prosthetic limbs

Elizabeth has tried many prosthetic limbs throughout her life - Credit: Elizabeth Southwick

Elizabeth said she has already waited two years to get a new arm on the NHS. 

The motorbike school receptionist hopes to become a trainer in the future and help other riders with prosthetic limbs. 

Elizabeth Southwick

The biker wants to help others who are missing limbs - Credit: Elizabeth Southwick

She described mother Betty Southwick, who passed away in January 2019, as her "left-hand lady” who helped Elizabeth to do anything she wanted, and even set up charity Reach, which helps children born with upper limb differences. 

Elizabeth Southwick with parents

Elizabeth's mother Betty Southwick always encouraged her to do things independently - Credit: Elizabeth Southwick

Elizabeth explained: “I don’t say I’m disabled, I say I have a limb difference. 

“Growing up, there were a lot of challenges, but luckily my mum was exceptional with helping me to do things.  

“She was so passionate about helping me find an arm that meant I wasn’t dependant on other people. 

“I brought three children up, and people didn’t think I’d be able to change nappies, but I found a way.” 

Elizabeth has raised £350 towards her £13,000 target. 

Support Elizabeth’s fundraiser at www.gofundme.com/f/help-me-be-the-real-bionic-biker

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