This month, a devoted elementary school teacher is celebrating being able to go back to the classroom using her bionic arms after losing all limbs to sepsis.
Katherine Tregenna’s life changed in the run up to Christmas when she came down with a fever she couldn’t shake “I owe my life to the emergency operator who noticed symptoms of sepsis and called an ambulance” reflects Kath who shortly after being admitted to hospital had 7-11 cardiac arrests and her family were told to say their goodbyes as she was unlikely to survive the night.
After losing all my limbs, I always had this dream of one day going back to teaching.
To save Kath’s life doctors had to perform a quadruple amputation on both her legs below the knee and arms below-the-elbow. After spending two months in intensive care, the mum-of-two started her New Year having to rediscover the world around her with no limbs.
On her road to recovery Kath was prescribed prosthetic hooks – her heart sank “I just knew I couldn’t go back to teaching with heavy hooks.” reflects Kath.
The mum-of-two was amazed at the response to her Hero Arms from children “The Hero Arms have allowed me to teach again, from writing on the white board, to carrying books. Children are obsessed with the Hero Arms and always ask me to show how they work.”
It’s all thanks to the Hero Arms I am able to teach again! From writing on the school board, to carrying books, children are obsessed with the Hero Arms and always ask me to show how they work
Kath’s Hero Arms were built custom to her shape and matching her individual prosthetic requirements and design preferences. Unlike the prosthetic hooks she was prescribed which were heavy and had very limited functionality, Kath’s Hero Arms use sensors to detect muscle movements and the arms are light so she can wear them all day.
Using her Hero Arms Kath is able to do most everyday things like open doors, carry books, write on a school white board and most importantly fulfil her dream of being able to teach again.
The maths teacher was determined to get back to the classroom she used to work in for five years because she left school one Friday and hasn’t been back for 18-months “ I just disappeared one Friday and at the time, my employers didn’t really know what to tell the children, particularly when there was a high chance I wouldn’t survive so it was a distressing time for everybody. “
Hero Arms use myoelectric sensors which detect underlying muscular contractions generated from specific muscle groups in the arm. These are then amplified and converted into intuitive and proportional bionic hand movements.