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Rian was born in 2010 and unfortunately suffered a brachial plexus injury during his delivery. Also known as Erb’s Palsy, this has resulted in his right arm being paralysed, with no finger function in his right hand. Erb’s Palsy can vary in severity, depending on how many nerves are affected and to what extent. Milder or moderate cases often recover with physiotherapy alone but severe cases like Rian’s require surgery to try and regain some of the lost function. To date, Rian has had three major surgeries including nerve grafting from his legs, tendon transfers in his arm, a shoulder release and he may need more surgeries in the future. Many of the difficulties which arise as a consequence of having the use of only one arm include dressing, self-care, food preparation and playing some sports. However, Rian is a very determined boy who has learned to be an excellent swimmer with the help of Galway Speeders, and he has recently learned to ride a bike with the help of his occupational therapist in Enable Ireland.
As well as being a nature and animal lover and an avid reader he really loves to play video games. He currently uses a Nintendo Switch console as the controllers were the most user-friendly for him although there are still aspects that he struggles with as they need bilateral control. Currently, his favourite games to play are Legend of Zelda, Mario games and Lego games. We visited Rian and his family where we gave him a test kit to try out. We built several different configurations and came up with the most suitable option for Rian. It has been great working with Rian, he is full of some amazing ideas and insights. We are looking forward to being able to help Rian Play the video games that he loves.