Thirteen year old Tilly Lockey from northern England received a state-of-the-art set of bionic hands from James Cameron and the filmmakers of Alita: Battle Angel.
Lockey had both her hands amputated at a young age. At just fifteen months old she fought against meningococcal septicemia, and survived. Unfortunately, during her fight, she lost both her hands. But now she’s become an advocate for kids with prosthetics.
According to My Virtual Medical Center, meningococcal septicaemia “is an acute (sudden onset) infection of the bloodstream and subsequent vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels) with the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis. Neisseria meningitidis frequently lives in the upper respiratory tract with no evidence of illness.”
Not only did Tilly get brand new bionic arms, but she was also invited to a secret photo shoot at The Dorchester Hotel in London. However, Tilly thought it was just a regular photo shoot. Her mom, Sarah, explains, “She was in one room and the film crew were waiting secretly next door.”
She added, “She had come down to London thinking she was just coming for a photo shoot – so it was a complete surprise when the film crew came in and presented her with her new arms, telling her she was a real-life Alita”
You can see Tilly with her new hands:
#CyberpunkisNow Tilly Lockey (@GiveTillyaHand), real life Battle Angel; or, At 13, she is part future, part machine, all inspirational. pic.twitter.com/GnzXTU3Rrd
— ΜΔDΞRΔS (@hackermaderas) February 2, 2019
According to Yahoo, Tilly’s new bionic hands were created thanks to 20th Century Fox partnering with Open Bionics. As you can see her hands are bionic in every sense of the word. Because not only do they move, but they allow Tilly to grasp objects and move them around.
Alita: Battle Angel producer James Cameron is a fan of Tilly’s work. He spoke at length about her work saying, “Tilly has grown up to be an incredible person and has never let her disability hold her back in anyway,”
We’re super excited to share @GiveTillyaHand‘s big moment with Hollywood Director @JimCameron. Tilly received her new bionic arms at the world premiere of the @AlitaMovie. #BionicsAreCool pic.twitter.com/jImioSdi5h
— Open Bionics (@openbionics) February 14, 2019
Cameron would comment on the price of prosthetics especially for children as their bodies grow, “Prosthetic arms aren’t cheap, especially for children. As Tilly grows from baby to child and child to adult, she needs replacement arms to match her body as she gets older.”
He then discussed the partnership with Open Bionics, “So, we decided to have the Alita design team to work with Open Bionics to build her a bespoke pair of advanced prosthetic arms, that are affordable.”
After receiving her brand new bionic hands, Tilly also became part of the London premiere for Alita: Battle Angel as she and film star Rosa Salazar walked the red carpet together. You can see some of the photos here:
James Cameron, Director of Titanic and Avatar, admiring @GiveTillyaHand’s Alita bionic arms. 😶 pic.twitter.com/DcmYF40Eae
— Sammy Payne (@SighSam) February 5, 2019
Can we please start the petition now to get @GiveTillyaHand in the #AlitaBattleAngel Sequel?! @AlitaMovie @JimCameron @jonlandau She’s an actress AND a cyborg. 😍 #GoTilly pic.twitter.com/sbqdB5sxA8
— Sammy Payne (@SighSam) February 1, 2019
You made the biggest mistake of your life… underestimating who I am. @GiveTillyaHand #AlitaBattleAngel pic.twitter.com/lOODwvhBwO
— Open Bionics (@openbionics) February 1, 2019
Feeling really strong tonight thanks to @20thcenturyfox and @openbionics coming together to give me my new @alitamovie #alita bionic arms. Such a powerful movie and I feel like I’m living the dream thank you xxx pic.twitter.com/nwjdsHMxoE
— Tilly Lockey (@GiveTillyaHand) January 31, 2019
So #proud of you #Tilly Tilly, who had meningitis when she was 15months old, was at the Alita: Battle Angel premiere last night with Rosa Salazar. You look awesome 🤩#repost 20th Century Fox @tilly.lockey @rosasalazar #alitabattleangel #tillylockey #openbionics pic.twitter.com/Fq3GSl6ISS
— Tainted (@Taintedents) February 1, 2019
Tilly herself took to Twitter and thanked Sammy Payne, co-founder of Open Bionics, and the team for all they’ve done for her, and the work they do for everyone who are in need of prosthetics.
A massive shout out to the amazing @SighSam and all @openbionics for creating the #AlitaBattleAngel arms. You are all so talented and you are changing the lives for the better!! pic.twitter.com/WXlPRhHBMK
— Tilly Lockey (@GiveTillyaHand) February 1, 2019
Finally here is a photo of Tilly Lockey with her new hands, ready to conquer the world.
Thanks @openbionics for the monochrome covers – super cool and stylish! #bionic #tothefuture pic.twitter.com/eQETN2W3nm
— Tilly Lockey (@GiveTillyaHand) February 2, 2019
What do you think of Tilly’s story? Have you seen Alita: Battle Angel yet? And if so what do you think of the film? Let me know your thoughts about the movie and our cyberpunk future in the comments section below!