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First man in UK with mind-controlled prosthetic arm

Corporal Andrew Garthwaite, who lost his arm whilst serving in Afghanistan, has become the first person in the UK to receive a mind-controlled prosthetic limb.

Andrew has shown off his prosthetic, which was fully funded by the Ministry of Defence, to his peers during his visit to the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre in Headley Court.

Corporal Andrew Garthwaite in Afghanistan Credit: Defence Imagery
The team using specialist software to link his mind and nerves to move the prosthetic Credit: Defence Imagery

Corporal Garthwaite was injured by a rocket propelled grenade on operations in 2010.

But after 18 months of world class rehabilitation, he is now able to control movement of his prosthetic arm with his mind, by focusing his thoughts on the nerves connected to muscles in his chest.

Testing the prosthetic by unwrapping a sweet Credit: Defence Imagery
Andrew showing colleagues at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre Credit: Defence Imagery


Video: Queen visits Headley Court

The Queen toured the military's leading rehabilitation centre for injured servicemen and women to learn about their long road back to health.

She was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh and the pair watched as amputee soldiers walked along obstacle courses on artificial legs.

The Queen was making her first visit to Headley Court in Surrey where Britain's battle casualties are sent for intensive rehab once their lives are out of danger.

Queen to visit forces' rehab centre today

Queen Elizabeth II Credit: PA

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will visit the armed forces' dedicated rehabilitation centre in Surrey for seriously injured servicemen and women.

The royal couple will tour Headley Court where wounded service personnel are given treatment and support to rebuild their military careers.

The Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre near Leatherhead is where most combat casualties receive the final stage of their rehab.

It is a sprawling complex of buildings set in the beautiful grounds of a historic building dating back to the Elizabethan period.

Facilities include a hydrotherapy pool, swimming pool, four fully equipped gyms and a state-of-the-art limb-fitting and amputee centre.

The centre has received many royal visits in recent years, most notably from the Duke of Cambridge, who opened some new facilities at the centre in 2010.

During their tour of Headley Court, the Queen and Duke will visit the Waterloo gym, where service personnel who have lost limbs will be put through their paces.

The royal visitors, who will stay for a private lunch, will also meet nursing staff and other patients before the Queen opens a refurbished unit.

  1. London

Queen to meet with injured soldiers

The Queen will meet with recovering soldiers today. Credit: Toby Melville/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will visit the Defence Medical Rehabiltation Centre at Headley Court today.

They will meet with recovering soldiers and open a newly refurbished treatment area.


  1. National

Bionic leg technology: How does it help?

All members of the Armed Forces, past and present, injured in Iraq or Afghanistan will be able to get state-of-the-art micro processor limbs, known as "bionic legs".

The benefits of the new legs:

  • Dramatically improve the quality of life for rehabilitation amputees
  • The leg will provide better stability
  • It will allow for more mobility
  • Improvements in the ability to step over obstacles, negotiate stairs and walk backwards safely
  1. National

Defence Secretary 'delighted' about prosthetic advances

Around 160 individuals who were injured in Iraq or Afghanistan, will benefit from Government funds for the most up-to-date prosthetic limbs available.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: "One of this Government's top priorities has always been to give our troops the best possible care and support."

Philip Hammond, Defence Secretary was "delighted" to make the announcement Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

Mr Hammond said he was "delighted" to announce funds of £6.5 million which will be used to ensure UK servicemen and veterans injured in Afghanistan or Iraq have the opportunity to "upgrade to the most technologically advanced prosthetics currently available."

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