Lifewatch: Bionic arm

Reported by Claire Hosmann - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

(WECT) - A woman who lost both arms when she was a child has a new grip on life - she was recently outfitted with bionic arms.

Many amputees are fitted with a traditional artificial prosthesis, relying on chains and buttons to move their arm, but that wasn't the case for Dawn Oleary.  She was outfitted with an I-limb, also known as the bionic arm.

"You can almost feel what you are touching," said Dawn.

Dawn lost both of her arms after she was electrocuted 37 years ago.  Since, she has learned to do everything with a hook or her feet.

"It feels wonderful," said Dawn.  "I'm not straining like I have been for 37 years."

Minutes after she was outfitted with the I-limb, she could already pick up a cup of water.

"I never thought I'd see the day I'd be fortunate to have something like this," said Dawn.

"I cannot even begin to explain what window she's going to be opening," said Jeff Quelet with Ability Prosthetics.  "Whether it's a butter knife, a dish, or whether it's a button, who knows what she is going to have the potential of doing. But she is going to instead of taking my hook and dragging my chair around, what I've done is picked up my chair and moved it."

While it will take some getting used to, being able to hold things again is a feeling Dawn will be able to hold onto forever.