Lebanon Reporter

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
Community News Network
Featured items
Click below to browse and order photos


Photos from June 2014

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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