Here’s what a passive hand prosthesis upgrade looked like for Summer

22nd May 2024

 In life, some people have the unique talent of keeping expectations humble and in check. This can be for many reasons, all of which are understandable. Such was the case for Summer G, congenital amputee from California who has been wearing a passive hand prosthesis, but realized it was time for a change. She was fitted with her very own Hero Arm in March at our Los Angeles clinic. We took some time to get to know Summer and find out more about her experience.

Summer first was introduced to Open Bionics in 2022. At the time, Summer was using a passive prosthesis and was on disability benefits. In addition, her insurance would not fund a myoelectric prosthesis. Being on disability meant that Summer could not crowdfund for a Hero Arm, as those funds would have counted as income for her and would have interfered with the disability benefits that she needed. We often don’t think about some of the barriers that the limb different community may face in their attempts to receive adaptive devices, but Summer’s situation is a reminder just how discouraging the system can be, and how it’s important not to give up!

“I don’t care when people stare at me now, I’m like yes I have a robot hand!”

Summer was pleased to find out that after time, a new Open Bionics clinic had opened closer to her, in Los Angeles, and she decided to give it another try. “I made a vacation out of it, I came down and stayed for three days,” she said. About a month after her evaluation with our clinician Will managing the insurance process, Summer found out that this time her Hero Arm would be approved. “I usually keep a level head, but when I found out it was approved this time, I felt that I was allowed to get excited,” she shared. This time, Summer traveled in style “I have a friend who owns a two-man airplane, and he actually flew me there to get it.” Summer shared. 

Much to our pleasure, Summer shared that her new Hero Arm has opened a door to new abilities. “I can do so much more with it, I can open doors, take a drink,” Summer said of what she can do more adaptively with her Hero Arm. Summer also shared that now she feels that her clothing fits better than without a prosthesis. “I also feel more even,” she explained. “I used to rest my arm a bit behind my body for balance and now with the Hero Arm I’m sitting more forward which is good for my posture.” she said. 

Probably the biggest highlight of all is Summer’s newfound attitude when people look at her. “I don’t care when people stare at me now, I’m like yes I have a robot hand!” she quipped. Summer recalled that previously, people would often stare at her because she just had one hand, whereas now they are looking at her impressive new bionic prosthesis. This is something that we love to hear. Being able to proudly show off the Hero Arm and invite people into a conversation about limb difference is such an important aspect of advocating for the limb different community. 

“It feels good that people can be very supportive and that they share the excitement of it with me, which makes me feel really good,” she said. Summer also shared that now that she has her Hero Arm, she’s able to use her body in a way that won’t put as much strain on her over time, which can be a common issue for those with a limb difference, “My posture is completely different now!” 

If you are interested in trialing the Hero Arm to see if its the right prosthesis for you, please click on the link below to begin your bionic journey and a representative from our team will be in touch with you!

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