Nicola Wilding, 35, lost the use of her right arm in a car crash 12 years ago.
Nerve transplants have returned some movement to her upper arm, but she's been told she'll never be able to use her hand again.
Now, having seen a Newsnight film on the work of Austrian surgeon Oskar Aszmann, she is actively considering having her hand cut off and replaced with a bionic prosthesis.
"Twelve years ago on the motorway coming back from Brighton I had a crash," she says, in the kitchen of the Surrey home she shares with her parents and son.
"In the impact I brought my arm up to protect my head and it's pulled the nerves and the shoulder back. I broke the bones straight across - compound fractures I think here and here," she continues, slicing her good hand across the sites of the breaks.
The bones could be fixed, but the injuries to her brachial plexus, the complex set of nerves which run from the neck via the shoulder to the arm, were always going to prove more problematic.
Her entire right arm was left paralysed by the crash, so surgeons performed nerve transplants, taking tissue from her leg and the side of her torso, to try to restore some movement.
Slowly and with the help of physiotherapy, movement returned to her upper arm. But the hand remained paralysed and withered.
"My doctors are like 'That's all we can do for you'," she recalls.
Nicola remained frustrated, and still is.
"It's the everyday things. If you go to butter toast you can't hold it. I've used my teeth to open bottles and chipped some teeth. Taking my clothes off, having a shower. I have to have meals prepared for me - I can't peel a potato as much as I've tried. I'd probably end up injuring myself.
"There are things I just can't do."
Then, last May, she saw a Newsnight film in which Austrian resident Milo underwent elective amputation to have his withered hand replaced with a prosthesis. He had suffered a brachial plexus injury in a motorbike accident, and had also lost the use of his hand.
The film also featured Patrick, the first patient to undergo the procedure, who was already showing off his bionic hand, opening bottles and tying his shoelaces.
The surgeon was Oskar Aszmann.
"I saw the clip of Oskar, and I was just filled with hope, because it could be life changing."
Nicola contacted Mr Aszmann immediately, but it's only this month that she has had the chance to meet him.
The surgeon was giving a lecture on his work to doctors at St Thomas' Hospital, London. Nicola attended the lecture and then met the surgeon for an initial consultation.
In a small room off a hospital ward, Mr Aszmann asked her how she was injured and what treatment she had had. He examined the arm, asking her what she can and cannot feel, and saw what movement she has.
But he was also keen to quiz her on her motivations and her expectations for elective amputation.
"These are risky decisions - they are irreversible. Once the extremity is gone it's gone, you cannot put it back on again," he says after the meeting, but he believes Nicola is a good candidate.
"She's already ready to go. She says she wants to have a functional hand and arm, so I think for her there's no question in her mind.
"What we have to figure out is what she still needs to qualify for an elective amputation and I think for that she will need to come to Vienna for us to conduct thorough tests."
That will involve testing the electrical output of nerves in her lower arm, to see whether they will provide sufficient signals to steer a bionic hand.
More surgery might be necessary to improve movement in the arm, he says. There may also be surgery he can perform to reduce the persistent pain Nicola suffers in her arm.
Nicola herself seems inspired by the lecture and by her meeting with Mr Aszmann.
"If the possibility is there and I feel that I haven't gone through with that, then I'll feel that I've let myself down.
"I've come this far and this is another door to be opened, so yes, I'm all for it, whatever the outcome, whatever happens, it's all good."
She now has to plan her trip to Vienna, and then, should she be selected for elective amputation, she'll have to think about where she can raise the money, not just for the surgery, but for a lifetime's worth of prosthetic hands and maintenance.
Samsung Electronics has said that it expects its profits to surge 79% in the second quarter as sales of its smartphones continue to grow.
It has forecast an operating profit of 6.7tn won ($5.9bn; £3.8bn) for the period, its highest quarterly profit since 2008.
Samsung overtook Nokia as the world's biggest maker of mobile phones earlier this year.
Analysts said its profits may rise even further in the coming months.
"Earnings will be stronger in the current quarter as sales of the high-end Galaxy S III will increase dramatically and drive the telecom division's earnings to above 5tn won," said Nho Geun-Chang an analyst with HMC Investment Securities.
"We estimate shipments of the Galaxy S III will reach 19 million units in the third quarter."
Samsung launched the Galaxy S III, the latest version of its Galaxy range of smartphones, in May this year, and the gadget has been well received in the market.
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What they are worried about are the legal spill over effects”
Jasper Kim Asia Pacific Global Research Group
Last month, the head of Samsung's mobile phone division Shin Jong-kyun said that the firm expects to sell 10 million units of the model by July.
While it has enjoyed early success, some analysts were of the view that its sales may slow towards the end of the year due to the widely-expected launch of the latest version of the Apple iPhone.
The iPhone is seen by most analysts as the biggest rival to Samsung's smartphones.
"We expect a correction in Samsung's earnings in the fourth quarter, as the launch of the new iPhone will lead to a decline in Samsung's profit in the high-end smartphone business," said Park Jong-Min a fund manager with ING Investment Management.
'Legal spill over'
Increased competition from the iPhone is not the only challenge Samsung has to deal with in the coming months.
It is also involved in a number of legal disputes over patent infringements with Apple in various countries across the world.
Earlier this month, a court banned sales of Samsung's Galaxy Nexus smartphone and also its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet PC in the US, until it decides on the continuing patent case between the two firms.
Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone on display Some of Samsung's gadgets have been banned for sale in the US over continuing patent disputes
There are concerns that the ban may hurt Samsung's sales in one of its key markets.
Analysts said the biggest fear for Samsung is that the dispute may become bigger and impact other Samsung products, including the Galaxy S III.
"What they are worried about are the legal spill over effects," Jasper Kim of Asia Pacific Global Research Group told the BBC.
"How Judge Lucy Koh's decision to block some of these Samsung smartphones into the US market, which is Samsung's largest mobile carrier market, will effect Galaxy S III sales. That's what Samsung is really worried about."
The first image of Naomi Watts playing Diana, Princess of Wales, has been released by film company Ecosse.
The British-born actress is starring in a film that portrays the last two years of Princess Diana's life.
Principal photography started this week. The film is due out next year.
Speaking from the set, Watts said: "I'm excited and honoured to be playing the role of a truly remarkable woman, who had such a positive and profound impact in so many ways."
Since being announced in February, the film has changed its name from Caught in Flight to the simpler Diana.
Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel of Downfall fame, it is believed to explore the princess's relationship with the heart surgeon Hasnat Khan.
The pair had a discreet romantic affair that began in 1995 and ended a few months before her death in August 1997.
Ecosse said the biopic "charts how finding true personal happiness allowed her to achieve her defining successes, as she evolved into a major international campaigner and humanitarian".
Dr Khan will be played by Naveen Andrews, from The Buddha of Suburbia and Lost, with other cast members including Douglas Hodge and Juliet Stevenson.
It is rumoured the film will also touch upon the princess's relationship with Dodi Al Fayed, and her death following a Paris car crash.
Ecosse directors Robert Bernstein and Douglas Rae have moved to quash any criticism of the film, saying that "everyone's aim [was] to produce a truly insightful and compassionate study of Diana's later years".
Watts rose to fame in Australian soap opera Home and Away before enjoying big-screen success in King Kong, 21 Grams and Mulholland Drive.
Aged 43, she is six years older than Diana was when she died.
Bikini onesie? Parents say a bikini onesie for sale at Gordman's department store goes too far. But it's hardly the only example of baby girl clothes that leave parents shaking their heads.
We just couldn’t let this bikini onesie news item go by without commenting: Parents of Southaven, Miss., were outraged this week, according to news reports, to find a baby onesie printed with a woman’s curvy midsection covered by a skimpy red polka doted bikini for sale at their Gordman’s department store.
Inappropriate, many parents said. Disgusting, others agreed. Why would you want someone to look at your 18-month-old daughter and think sex object?
Of course others wondered, “What’s the big deal? It’s a cheeky onesie.” (There will be no universal opinion about these matters in parent land, I can assure you that.)
The clothing item in question is part of the Wild Child brand of the Bon Bébé clothing line, which also includes onesies with sayings like “What happens at Grandma’s stays at Grandma’s” and “No dating allowed.”
This, you know if you have children or have ever looked for a baby present, is part of the wide and perilous genre of the “funny onesie,” a mind-boggling array of (often expensive) cotton bodysuits labeled with clever sayings, jokes, references and other innuendos.
(And a tip for the baby gift buyers here: You can go really, really wrong with these sorts of onesies. One person’s funny is another’s inappropriate. And a lot of people don’t have a great sense of humor when it comes to slapping labels on their kids. So that “Daddy and I like boobies” shirt? Give it a pass.)
Now, there are some important issues surrounding the bikini onesie controversy of this week. Sexualization of children’s clothing is a problem, as witnessed by the regular incidents of “OMG, did I just see that?” in parent shopping land.
Think of the French company Jour Apres Lunes’s “loungerie” line for girls 3 months and up, complete with photo spread of little girls in heavy makeup. Or the padded bras for 7-year-old. Or the – I promise I am not making this up - crotchless panties for the elementary school set. (At least one store were these were sold, called Kids N Teen, removed the undergarments after parents complained. Um, yeah.)
Nia Long, who many may remember from the movies “Friday”, “Boiler Room”, and “Big Momma’s House”, revealed in a recent interview that she’s currently not interested in tying the knot with her long-time boyfriend and international basketball player Ime Sunday Udoka. In a recent interview with Essence, the actress said that while she’s in no rush to get marriage, the possibility hasn’t been entirely ruled out.
“I’ll be at home with my man, having a perfectly loving time, and I’ll see all these comments on some site about how wrong I am for not being married,” Long said. “I don’t feel less loved or less loving because I’m not married.” She admitted that she has never seen a marriage work, which has prompted her to search for “emotional maturity” in a relationship, instead.
Long, who recently welcomed her first child with Udoka, revealed that she’s been working on patching up the relationship between her and her first child’s father. Although the couple had their rocky moments in the past, Long said that she feels they’ve finally reached a good place. Additionally, Long has also reconciled with her father, allowing her to add some much-needed stillness to her life following the birth of her second child.
“Motherhood is not easy, but it’s natural,” she explained. “I worked hard to have the career I wanted, but I’ve also been deliberate about my personal life. None of this is a mistake.”
The storied British soccer team Manchester United said Tuesday that it plans to raise about $100 million in an initial public offering of its shares in the United States.
News reports last year had linked the club, where the England star Wayne Rooney plays, with a possible listing in Singapore. But in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission published Tuesday, Manchester United said it aimed to sell shares in the homeland of its American owners, the Glazer family.
The team has one of the most powerful brands in world sport and has won 60 trophies in its 134-year history. But since the Glazers, who also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, bought the team in 2005, it has accrued a high level of debt.
Manchester United to sign Dortmund's Japan star Kagawa
Manchester United said in the filing Tuesday that it had generated revenue of 331.4 million pounds ($519 million) in the financial year ended June 2011. But at the end of March this year, its total indebtedness stood at 423.3 million pounds ($663 million).
The club said it would use the proceeds from the planned share offering to pay off some of its debt.
On the field, the team had an ultimately frustrating 2011-12 season. It lost out on the English Premier League title to its local rival, Manchester City, on the last day of the season, and failed to qualify from the group stage of the European Champions League.
The SEC filing did not specify when the planned listing would take place.
The filing described the maximum offering size of $100 million as "estimated solely for the purpose of calculating the registration fee," suggesting it could change in the future.
Manchester City win Premier League title in thrilling finale
Despite repeated alerts, tens of thousands of Americans may still lose their Internet service Monday unless they do a quick check of their computers for malware that could have taken over their machines more than a year ago.
The warnings about the Internet problem have been splashed across Facebook and Google. Internet service providers have sent notices, and the FBI set up a special website.
According to the FBI, the number of computers that probably are infected is more than 277,000 worldwide, down from about 360,000 in April. Of those still infected, the FBI believes that about 64,000 are in the United States.
People whose computers are still infected Monday will lose their ability to go online, and they will have to call their service providers for help deleting the malware and reconnecting to the Internet.
The problem began when international hackers ran an online advertising scam to take control of more than 570,000 infected computers around the world. When the FBI went in to take down the hackers late last year, agents realized that if they turned off the malicious servers being used to control the computers, all the victims would lose their Internet service.
In a highly unusual move, the FBI set up a safety net. They brought in a private company to install two clean Internet servers to take over for the malicious servers so that people would not suddenly lose their Internet.
And while it was the first time they'd done something like that, FBI officials acknowledged that it may not be the last since authorities are taking on more of these types of investigations.
The temporary Internet system they set up, however, will be shut down at 12:01 a.m. EDT Monday, July 9.
Most victims don't even know their computers have been infected, although the malicious software probably has slowed their Web surfing and disabled their antivirus software, making their machines more vulnerable to other problems.
But popular social networking sites and Internet providers have gotten more involved, reaching out to computer users to warn of the problem.
According to Tom Grasso, an FBI supervisory special agent, many Internet providers are ready for the problem and have plans to try to help their customers. Some, such as Comcast, already have reached out.
The company sent out notices and posted information on its website. Because the company can tell whether there is a problem with a customer's Internet server, Comcast sent an email, letter or Internet notice to customers whose computers appeared to be affected.
Grasso said other Internet providers may come up with technical solutions that they will put in place Monday that will either correct the problem or provide information to customers when they call to say their Internet isn't working. If the Internet providers correct the server problem, the Internet will work, but the malware will remain on victims' computers and could pose future problems.
In addition to individual computer owners, about 50 Fortune 500 companies are still infected, Grasso said.
Both Facebook and Google created their own warning messages that showed up if someone using either site appeared to have an infected computer. Facebook users would get a message that says, "Your computer or network might be infected," along with a link that users can click for more information.
Google users got a similar message, displayed at the top of a Google search results page. It also provides information on correcting the problem.
To check whether a computer is infected, users can visit a website run by the group brought in by the FBI: http://www.dcwg.org .
The site includes links to respected commercial sites that will run a quick check on the computer, and it also lays out detailed instructions if users want to actually check the computer themselves.