GASPERICH — A teenager described by his parents as “always on his phone” will now be stuck to it for the rest of his life.
Lycée student Geoffrey de Kelpt, 17, says that he woke up one morning last week and realized that his phone had melded with his left hand.
He is unable to say exactly when skin from his palm began to grow and incorporate his iPhone 7 into his body, because the device was always in his hand anyway.
“I even used to shower with it,” he said.
His teachers confirm that they had given up trying to get Geoffrey to relinquish his phone during lessons. Pauline Gouyet, who teaches French, says that last spring she tried to yank it out of his hand when she noticed he was sending messages during class, but that it wouldn’t budge.
“It seemed like he’d glued it to his palm, as a trick, a prank, so I didn’t insist,” she said. “I didn’t want to hurt him. Plus, he immediately teared up, those big brown eyes of his looking so sad, so I actually felt bad for him.”
Upon realizing the gravity of their son’s condition, Geoffrey’s parents drove him to Brussels to see a prominent hand surgeon, but after x-rays were taken, they were given bad news: the device has fused to his bones, so removing it would be too risky, both physically and emotionally.
“There’s no way we’ll ever get the phone out of his hand,” said Dr. Famke Egbert. “Unless we chop the whole thing off, that phone’s going to be there forever.”
His parents agree that removing the phone now would cause irreparable harm to Geoffrey’s psyche.
“He’s totally reliant on that device, using it to get information, socialize, wake him up, help him with school, organize his day, foster relationships, play games, communicate with us, direct him to food sources, and remind him of his own birthday,” his mother Eleanor said.
As for Geoffrey, he says he’s delighted to have his phone become a permanent fixture in his body, but he is troubled by just one thing.
“I’ll never be able to upgrade, which kind of sucks,” he said. “I wish my parents would have bought an iPhone with 256 gigabytes. Looks like I’ll be stuck with 128 forever.”