In the summer of 2012 Maggie was living her dreams as a young, healthy 28-year-old professional working in New York City at a private equity firm. She loved the energy of The City. She never expected an end of summer company boating party would change her life. Maggie was on the back of a wave runner spotting a co-worker who was water skiing. When her co-worker was finished, she wrapped the ski rope up around her arm. While the wave runner was maneuvering back to the dock she lost her balance and fell off the back into the water. Due to the rope being wrapped around her left forearm, her left hand was amputated immediately when the rope was caught in the wave runner’s impeller.
An attempt at reattaching her hand was made, but it was unsuccessful. This ultimately resulted in the amputation of her non-dominant left hand. Within 3 weeks of her injury, Maggie’s doctor, Jeffrey M. Cohen, MD from NYU Rusk Rehabilitation Hospital, connected her with Laura Katzenberger, CP, LP and Thomas Passero, CP from the Handspring clinical team for prosthetic care as well as Claribell Bayona, OTR/L from the therapy team at NYU Rusk Rehabilitation. With the help of her clinical team, Maggie remained very optimistic about her future and was determined to get back to the job she loved.
Maggie elected to participate in the Handspring Excelerated® fitting protocol in order to resume her normal life as quickly as possible. By condensing each stage of the patient care process while incorporating occupational therapy training, Handspring patients, like Maggie, achieve a higher level of proficiency with their devices from the start. Maggie was fit initially with an externally powered Touch Bionics iLimb Ultra multi-articulated hand. This hand was later upgraded to the iLimb Ultra Revolution, which increased her ability to grasp different objects by including a motorized rotatable thumb so she would not have to use her right hand to position the thumb for certain grips.
At Handspring we understand that no single prosthesis can provide all the functions that our patients require. For Maggie, like many, it was important to have a light weight prosthesis that has a more natural life-like appearance to it. To meet her expectations, she was subsequently fit with a custom, passive, functional, silicone restoration prosthesis. Maggie really likes to use this prosthesis for social activities and at work when she doesn’t want to draw attention to herself. Although the fingers do not move on their own, she finds the prosthesis to be very functional for activities such as using her laptop, securing papers, or holding her phone.
Maggie, did not want her injury to hold her back from being able to participate in recreational activities that she loved prior to her accident. To assist her with biking, spin classes, yoga, snowboarding and kayaking she was fit with an activity specific prosthesis that had a variety of interchangeable attachments for the specific activities.
Maggie has highlighted the early involvement of Handspring in her treatment as paramount to the success of the process. She recommends meeting clinicians as early as possible in order to understand both the options and the treatment plan.
Weekly Occupational Therapy occurred at NYU Rusk as well as supplemental Occupational Therapy from Handspring throughout the fitting of Maggie’s prostheses with the goal of integrating the devices into her daily routine at home and at work. She is now able to perform her activities of daily living independently as well as engage in the hobbies that she enjoyed before her accident.
Maggie says her care by Handspring throughout her treatment process has been absolutely great. She particularly emphasizes that the accessibility of the staff, and their responsiveness, were key to making her experience a positive one. "The staff were always available when I needed them" she says.