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For Kids, Dad's Bionic Hand Recalls 'Star Wars'

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For Kids, Dad's Bionic Hand Recalls 'Star Wars'

For Kids, Dad's Bionic Hand Recalls 'Star Wars'

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


Time now, for another conversation from StoryCorps, a project that's recording interviews all across the country.

In 2007, Eric Jones developed a disorder that cut off blood flow to his hands and feet. Doctors had to amputate his right hand and Eric was fitted with a bionic one. He was among the first 10 people in the U.S. to receive a bionic hand. He recently spoke with his seven-year-old son, Alex, and 10-year-old daughter, Lanie, for StoryCorps.

Ms. LANIE JONES: How did you get your bionic hand, dad?

Mr. ERIC JONES: On the Internet.

Ms. JONES: Did you just go to Google and look up bionic hand?

Mr. JONES: I don't remember, exactly, but I was looking for a prosthetic, and I found this bionic hand. It's a glove that fits on the stump, and there's a sensor that picks up a muscle signal in the palm of my hand. And I flex the muscle and the fingers move, and they close all at once. And then I flex it again, and then the fingers open.

Ms. JONES: What do you miss most about not having a hand?

Mr. JONES: I miss playing the piano, because I could play the piano when you sing, Lanie. And I can't throw the baseball yet, but I'm trying to figure out how to do that so that we could play catch, Alex.

Mr. ALEX JONES: Yeah. Do you get tired of people asking about your missing hand?

Mr. E. JONES: Not really - people get curious. But it was pretty cool when I came to show and tell at second grade, though, right?

Mr. A. JONES: Yeah, that was cool.

Mr. E. JONES: What do you guys think about Dad's bionic hand?

Ms. JONES: Darth Vader - Darth Vader just pops into my head, and so does Luke Skywalker, 'cause they both have robotic hands.

Mr. A. JONES: What was it like for you when we came to visit you in the hospital for the first time?

Mr. E. JONES: Oh, it was awesome, 'cause I hadn't seen you guys in a long, long time.

Ms. JONES: A month.

Mr. E. JONES: "But I was a little nervous that you guys were going to be scared, and you were going to be sad. But when you guys came into the hospital room for that first time, you just kind of hung out with the old dad in the bed. And most kids, if their dad got this sick, would probably not handle it quite the way that you guys did, which I'm very, very proud of. Because I drop things all the time, I spill things all the time, I need...

Ms. JONES: Every single day.

Mr. E. JONES: from you guys all the time. So, one of the things I admire most about both of you guys, is that you're very patient, and you help your dad.

Ms. JONES: Thank you, Dad.

Mr. E. JONES: Well thank you. These were some great questions.

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KELLY: Eric Jones talking with his children Lanie and Alex at StoryCorps in Mamaroneck, New York. Their interview will be archived at the Library of Congress. And there are photos of Eric and his bionic hand at

(Soundbite of music)

KELLY: This is NPR News.

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