Sometimes, life can cut you a really raw deal, and I’m not talking about having to get up and pee in the middle of the night, I’m talking about real life, Saving Private Ryan style problems. One such recipient of life’s big boot was James Young, who fell under a train in a freak accident and suffered injuries almost too gruesome to detail. If you want the specifics, James was heading for a night out with friends and when the train pulled in, he put his hand out to push the button to open the doors. However, he lost his balance, fell between 2 carriages and suffered a range of injuries including collapsed lungs, a fractured skull and face, rib fractures and cracks in his spine. 

Most tragically however, his left arm had to be amputated, and his left leg was severed at the knee during the accident itself.

His injuries were so traumatic that he had to be kept in an induced coma for 12 days, and spent 4 months in the hospital. In fact, James needed 12 operations to rebuild his face and body. He was finally discharged from the hospital with a standard issue NHS prosthetic leg and arm, which he found clunky and difficult to operate. “The prostheses are operated by straps and strings, which is uncomfortable to do on a traumatically amputated stump,” he told Daily Mail

Gaming company Konami totally linked him up though, hooking him up with a state-of-the-art bionic arm à la Bucky from Captain America.

James, an avid video games fan, answered an ad online which was looking for an amputee interested in road-testing a futuristic prosthetic limb. He got selected, and London studio of prosthetics artist Sophie De Oliveira Barata fitted him with a cyborg arm connected to nerves and muscles in his shoulder. Apart from simply looking badass, the arm also works by detecting sensors attached to the skin of his shoulders that then operates the arm and hand, all powered by battery.

In fact, James’ hand can be used to even pick up tiny objects like coins and pins, thanks to the ‘commands’ sent by the shoulder muscles.

The arm also has a laser light, a torch, a watch, a USB port on the wrist and even a drone fitted on a panel on the outside of the shoulder. For all the futuristic cool points the arm gives though, it is a prototype, and thus faces a number of teething problems. He has to take it off during showers, it weighs a heft 4.7 kg and needs to be regularly serviced. Regardless, James shows both mettle and moxie, looking at his disabilities as just another challenge that life has thrown at him. 

“If stuff is harder to do, it just means you haven’t yet figured out a way to do it.”

Right on.