Up until a few months ago, 14 year old Austin Stelly relied on others to feed himself. He doesn’t have enough strength to lift his arms.
“He’s a teenager, to have that independence is huge.”
Austin has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic disorder. Over time, muscles degenerate and weaken.
“When we’re in the car, when we would stop somewhere he wouldn’t be able to feed himself. Now we can get him some french fries and he can feed himself.”
He controls the $25,000 robotic arm with his wheelchair.
Did it take some getting used to?
“About 3 days.”
His mom Trina Stelly says his quality of life has dramatically improved, but it’s not all thanks to the arm.
Austin now has a furry friend too…Astro.
He’s able to open and close doors. he can retrieve items that austin drops. he knows how to turn on and off lights and they’re best friends.
Astro is a service dog, but his family says the best part is Astro comes frm a colony of research dogs who also have Duchenne muscular dystrophy like Austin.
“What’s your favorite thing about your dog?
Trina says the disorder has progressed. Austin isn’t expected to live past 20 years old but his mom says they live day by day and for now they are thankful for the tools they have to help Austin.
“You can’t just sit back and let things take their course because he won’t get what he needs. You have to be in control and you have to be proactive. That’s the only way he can get what he needs and get the quality of care that he needs and the best quality of life.”
in arnaudville , megan kelly klfy news ten.