Obsessed with machines since childhood, a poor welder fashioned a bionic arm for himself using various junk at hand after suffering a stroke which left the arm unable to move on its own.
Referring to himself as the “bionic man”, 31-year-old I Wayan Sumardana of Nyuhtebel Village in Karangasem, Indonesia revealed that he had suddenly lost all feeling on his left arm upon waking up one morning.
It is possible that he had a stroke though he claims that the doctors could not find the reason for his condition and was supposedly told to “go to the shaman”; however, the shaman couldn’t heal him.
One day, his son was crying out of hunger. Sumardana felt he needed to do something so he could feed his family.
Resolving to find a way to work despite his condition, he fashioned the bionic arm out of junk. To make the contraption work, he made a headband which he claims is connected to his brain “just like a lie detector”.
Sumardana said he only has to think of what his arm should do and transmitters will send signal from his brain towards the arm, making it move the way he likes it to. He has demonstrated the use of the arm to many shocked onlookers, including to many skeptics who just could not believe that his contraption works since it lacks key components like a processor.
He lets others try the bionic arm and its signal receiver headband but not one of them could make the thing work. Nengah Sudiartini, Sumardana’s wife, thinks that this is because the bionic arm is not just a mechanical/robotic thing but is also “possessed” with some kind of spirit.
The family and the villagers think that spirits had a hand in Sumardana’s condition, especially after Sudiartini claimed that she had seen her husband’s arm disappear before appearing again.
“I saw this left arm was missing. But after about an hour, my son looked at my husband again and he said the arm was there. And yes, it was there, but before it wasn’t. After that, he couldn’t move it,” she claimed. “We went to the doctors, but they couldn’t explain what happened.”
A lot of people, especially those in the scientific community are quick to dismiss Sumardana’s as hoax yet the villagers are in awe of their very own bionic man.
A self-employed man, Sang Putu Wardhana, from Denpasar, Indonesia said, “I don’t care if it is a robot or not. For me he is extraordinary. Not many people who suffer can fight and survive.”
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