First, I would like to thank everyone who helped us raise money, donated, and showed us your love and support! Without all of you we could not have gotten this far. We are so happy to announce that we are able to pay for Jameson’s FIRST set of Myoelectric prosthesis!!!
After all the incredible fund-raising and waiting for insurance claims to be processed/accepted, we now have an appointment set in October! Jameson is finally going to be able to move his own fingers and hands! Learning not only how to control this type of prosthetic, but to tolerate the process at such a young age has been something that we have been striving for. Now the time has come and we are looking forward to making great progress.
We will be traveling seven hours to Portland, Oregon by car and will be there for a week or maybe a little more. During our visit at Advanced Arm Dynamics, Jameson, myself and his daddy will learn how the Myoelectric prosthesis are built, how to put them on, and learn how to work them. There are several different types of electric prosthetics, but Myo’s as they are nicknamed, have become the most popular and the most advanced.
Myoelectric prosthetics have a number of advantages over body-powered prosthetics. Since it uses a battery and electronic motors to function, the myoelectric artificial limb does not require any unwieldy straps or harnesses to function. Instead, it is custom made to fit and attach to the remaining limb (whether above the elbow or below) with maximum suspension using suction technology. Once it is attached, the prosthetic uses electronic sensors to detect minute muscle, nerve, and EMG activity. It then translates this muscle activity (as triggered by the user) into information that its electric motors use to control the artificial limbs movements. The end result is that the artificial limb moves much like a natural limb, according the mental stimulus of the user. The user can even control the strength and speed of the limb’s movements and grip by varying his or her muscle intensity. As well, the acute sensors and motorized controls enable greater dexterity, even allowing the manipulation and use of small items like keys or credit cards through functioning fingers. In addition to this extreme functionality, the myoelectric artificial limb needs not sacrifice any of its cosmetic appearance. The most advanced versions of these prosthetics are incredibly natural and on par with purely cosmetic limbs. (info. taken from http://www.myoelectricprosthetics.com/).
Currently, Jameson uses a passive set of prosthesis, he has been using this pair since he was 7 months old. The passive arms are what I like to call his “training wheel arms”. They are very basic and have minimal movement which he needs help to maneuver. He does not wear them all day, that was never the plan. Just a few times a day is all he needs to achieve the purpose of the passive set. The purpose has been to help him get used to having something placed on his arm, adjust to the difference in length (which also helps with vision depth and balance), as well as bring objects and snacks to his own mouth. As a baby, Jameson has done so great with these! Also, starting this process early has helped minimize rejection. When not wearing his prosthesis he has adapted incredibly to his short arms. He can do almost anything including pick pennies off of the floor!!! The first time I saw that I was blown away. Unfortunately, there are tasks that cause him so much frustration. When, I see him struggle I just want to cry. As amazing as he is, these moments are the reason we continue to move ahead with the prosthesis.
Unlike, the passive arms, the Myoelectric prosthesis will allow him to have precise hand control, grasp, and finger movement. This is a huge step forward and we are so very excited to be able to give this amazing gift to our son.