Paige and her mother, Janine watched NBC’s Today Show with great interest as teenager Michael Waldron was interviewed about his bionic fingers, i-limb digits from Touch Bionics.
"I thought it was really cool," said Paige. "My mom and I watched the segment over and over."
Like Michael, Paige was born with a partial hand deficiency and the promise of a bionic finger system that would provide her with both form and function was of tremendous interest.
Through the Helping Hands Foundation, a national organization that provides support, information and experiences for children with upper-limb differences, Paige met another teen who was in the process of being fitted with i-limb digits. After witnessing these two young people with similar situations, and how i-limb digits was helping them, Paige and her family were hopeful that she would be a viable candidate for this revolutionary prosthetic device.
Paige and her family began researching i-limb digits on the Internet. Their search led them to Handspring, a prosthetic company in upstate New York that has worked closely with Touch Bionics on the development of its technology, and who has previously fitted patients like Paige. As a clinical collaborator of Touch Bionics, Handspring sees patients like Paige in its multiple locations.
Handspring has been really helpful as I’ve gone through this process," said Paige. Her mother, Janine added, "Handspring has been amazing by working out the minor details with our insurance company regarding approval, scheduling early evening appointments that were more convenient for traveling and Paige’s school schedule, and replying promptly to any questions or requests for assistance. We couldn’t have asked for better service, understanding and compassion."
- Patient: Paige, 15
- Location: Lake George, NY
- Occupation: Student
- Clinic: Care provided by Handspring, Middletown, NY
- Product: i-limb digits
- Connect: http://m.imgur.com/gallery/w2uKZ
Handspring is an ensemble of highly knowledgeable medical professionals who are focused on providing a holistic approach for patients needing specialized care in upper limb prosthetic rehabilitation. Our uniquely experienced team of prosthetists, therapists, fabrication specialists, and insurance experts have worked with patients around the globe to provide innovative, highly customized prosthetic devices that assist patients in living their daily lives to the fullest.
The process started with an examination at the Middletown clinic, where Paige was assessed for her suitability to wear i-limb digits. It was determined that she would be a good candidate and the fitting process was set in motion. Within three months of first contacting Touch Bionics, Paige was fitted with a test device that she says she was able to control in an hour and control effectively, within 24 hours.
Like most teenagers, Paige is active in her community, loves to socialize with her friends and participate in sports. While she didn’t use a prosthesis in her daily life, she has used adaptive prostheses that enable her to pay field hockey and baseball as well as swim. She leads a full and happy life but has felt over the years that her limb difference has limited her abilities in some areas that others take for granted.
"With i-limb digits, I’m able to hold a hairbrush and a hair dryer at the same time. I can hold a water bottle — basic everyday things."
Also like other people her age, she’s conscious about her appearance and looks forward to getting a high-definition skin-covering for her i-limb digits that will enable her to blend in with her peers and reduce the number of question she receives about her partial hand from friends and strangers alike.
"Because my hand has been like this my whole life, I’ve adapted and been able to do a lot of things, but i-limb digits makes it easier. My friends are lining up to do things with me, things that I’ve not been able to do until I was fitted with i-limb digits. One of my friends wanted to be the first to play patty-cake with me, another wanted to make a secret handshake."
To assist Paige with the social aspect of her teen years, the Handspring clinicians worked with her to create a passive, functional aesthetic prosthesis that she commonly uses in more social settings such as parties or dances. This custom-designed device included a shape that matches her sound limb as well as detailed color matching for her individual skin tone.