Nantucket man born with no arms receives a prosthetic arm

NANTUCKET, Mass. — Higor Souza has waited his entire life for this moment.

“It’s awesome, feels like I was born again,” he said.

The 20-year-old Nantucket man was born with no arms and legs with no femurs. He uses his feet to do almost everything, like playing video games. But that’s all about to change.

Souza was recently fitted with a new prosthetic. It’s basically a bionic arm. He can now do simple things like picking up a water bottle.

“If I press it, I can take my shirt off without my feet. I can take off my pants. I will like grab a cup of water and put it, you know what I mean, simple things, but for me will change a lot,” he said.

Souza was fitted for his new arm at United Prosthetics in Quincy. Electrodes were placed on his body that will sense his muscle movement.

“The sensors lay on top of his skin. Everybody’s muscles give-off an electrical charge. You can contract them so he just is working his existing muscles to set off those signals and the prosthesis picks-up on that to move that hand,” said Chris Martino, business manager at the family-owned United Prosthetics.

Souza was born in Brazil. He moved to Nantucket with his mother four years ago to live with his grandmother. He didn’t know any English when he arrived on the island, but worked hard and graduated from Nantucket High School last spring. Shortly after, his family launched a Go Fund Me account to raise money for the $145,000 arm. Souza calls it priceless.

“My dream came true, and I hope I get a second arm now,” he said.

Souza said a family from California donated $95,000 towards his prosthetic. He has a GoFundMe account set up for a second prosthetic arm.