Healthy Living: Prosthetic hand
What would you do if you lost the use of your hands? Annually it's estimated, nearly 20,000 people do.
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"I have two kids, ten and seven. They are fantastic and they have been wonderful through this whole thing," Eric Jones said.
This thing his kids were wonderful through was a near fatal disease. Battling cancer three times left his immune system in tough shape. Three years ago, he contracted a deadly blood infection.
"I lost my right hand, my toes and parts of the bottom of my feet and had damage to my left hand," said Jones.
Even after his right hand was amputated, his left nearly paralyzed and needed a cane to walk; his attitude was one of strength.
"I was interested in getting on with things and getting out of the hospital as fast as possible. Ok, this is a pretty terrible situation and there are lot of people in a lot worse situation me," said Jones.
He searched for a prosthetic hand. It didn't take long. It's called ProDigits. Unlike other prosthetics hands that don't have a working thumb, this bionic looking hand did.
"I walk with a crutch so the most important thing that this allows me to do is grip. So, I can hold a cup of coffee, take it to the counter to the table, which seems like a simple thing to do but because of the damage to my left and I can't do that. But with this TouchBionic hand, I can do that," Jones said.
ProDigits is for those like Eric, who have lost part of their hands or fingers. The technology works thanks to the miniaturization of all the components in the hand. A motor drive it, batteries power it and it's controlled by a tiny microprocessor, which works off of the muscle, left in the hand or palm.
"In the anatomical, the thenar eminence, the muscle at the base of the thumb if it is intact, which in Eric's situation it is, any time that muscle contracts the sensor picks up the signal, sends it to the micro processor which tells the thumb or finger to close or open," said Tom Passero with Prosthetic and Orthotic Associates
The prosthetic is covered with a high definition silicone fine artists create it they will put freckles on it and even paint your fingernails to match, but not everybody chooses to use it. The covering is called Livingskin and it's an extra feel. The human like restoration is important for some folks but Eric preferred the high-tech clear skin.
"He wanted us to make this work as well as it could and didn't care as much as how it looked. In his case we have a lower cost, a clear silicone covering and it allows him to do all he can do," said Passero.
Although you can't get the ProDigit wet, you can do most everything else, high on his priority list, picking up Legos and playing board games with his kids.