Niagara Gazette

Community News Network

December 3, 2013

Bionic arms allow double amputee to do everyday tasks

MERRIMAC, Mass. — Thirteen-thousand eight-hundred volts of electricity shot through James Young's upper body three years ago while working as an electrical lineman, shocking him into a coma that lasted three weeks and left him with severe burns.

When he awoke, Young discovered doctors had removed his right arm above the elbow and his left arm at the shoulder, causing him to be thankful to be alive but concerned for his future as a double amputee.

Due to the miracle of  medical research, Young is now a bionic man, able to manuever prosthetic arms through two computer chips in his chest that react to what his brain and nerve impulses tell them to do.

"They replaced nerves and muscles so that they could fit me with prosthetics," said Young. "They rearranged the nerves and re-enervated them. Now I feel my hands as if they were there."

Called Pattern Recognition software, the technology was developed by a Chicago bio-engineering company, CoApt Engineering, with the notion of making amputees as self-sufficient as possible.

The 43-year-old Young underwent 16 surgeries and countless hours of therapy at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago to get where he is today. Dr. Todd Kulken of the institute developed the surgery that integrates mechanical and electrical components into the human body.

Young is still learning about how to best use his bionic arms and knows he will never replicate the wonders of the Six Million Dollar Man television show of the 1970s about an astronaut with bionic implants.

"These don't replace arms by any stretch of the imagination," said Young. "But I don't have to ask someone to do the simplest of things" -- like pick up a package, grab a bottle or do some of the other activities of daily living.

Young said his recovery and rehabilitation from near death by electrocution in September of 2010 has been a tough road, "but  I know I have done everything I can to improve my situation."

---

Elizabeth Rose is a correspondent for the Newburyport, Mass., Daily News.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page