Plenty of 11-year-olds love “Star Wars,” but almost none of them show their fandom like Isabella Tadlock.
That’s because Isabella, who was born without most of her left arm, managed to raise $14,000 to pay for an “R2-D2 arm,” designed after the loveable white and blue droid.
Now, one of “Star Wars'” most famous figures is calling the 11-year-old a “hero.” Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in both the original films and the latest trilogy, surprised Isabella with a congratulatory call after her new arm was delivered.
“I heard you’re a ‘Star Wars’ fan. But I have to tell you, I’m a big fan of yours. I’m so proud of you,” Hamill said in a video of their conversation shared by the arm’s manufacturer, Open Bionics. “They call it a hero arm because you really are a hero.”
Hamill spent the video chat telling Isabella how happy he is for her, as well as introducing her to his dogs, Millie and Mabel.
It was the first Isabella and Hamill had ever spoken, but not the first time they’d crossed paths. In late 2019, the actor shared her story on Twitter, calling for her his followers to donate and help pay for the arm. The 11-year-old ultimately hit her goal and received the bionic limb in late February.
During their call, Isabella also showed Hamill what her arm can do, including grabbing a Christmas ornament with her new fingers.
“I am so excited. I will be able to ride my bike, swing on the monkey bars, create in the kitchen and be like my friends,” Isabella wrote on her MightyCause fundraising page after receiving the limb.
The 11-year-old’s mom, Pamela Tadlock, echoed that excitement, telling CNN that the new arm had already changed a lot for her daughter.
“It’s helping tremendously with her self-esteem and confidence,” Tadlock said. “Just last night for the first time she was able to blow dry her hair by herself.”
Hamill, for his part, left some parting inspiration of his own during the call with Isabella.
“May the Force be with you, always,” he said.
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