Meningitis survivor gets new hands

Meningitis survivor gets new hands

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by Cathy Marshall

Bio | Email | Follow: @CathyMarshall8

kgw.com

Posted on September 7, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 7 at 2:54 PM

PORTLAND - A Portland man who lost his limbs to meningitis tried out his new electric hands this week.

We first profiled Issa Kamara in June as he was undergoing physical therapy at a Providence clinic. At that time he was learning to use prosthetic legs.

Insurance had turned down his request for electric hands priced at $40,000 a piece. His family appealed and with the help of letters from his Doctors, he eventually received approval.

At Advanced Arm Dynamics in Beaverton Issa has spent several weeks going through fittings and training. “After eight months without hands, it’s going to take some practice,” he said as he tried to open a water bottle with his new hands.

“Sensors can react to his muscle movements allowing him to open and close the hands but it takes practice to find the right pressure,” Specialist Mac Lang explained.

“This will take some of his care off my plate,” said Issa’s wife Janara, “It’s so great to see him take a drink or learn to cook again.”

Even with all he’s been through, Issa will tell you it would take more than two hands to count all his blessings.

“I’m thankful that I came out of this with all that I still have,” he remarked after writing his name with his right hand.

His next goal – to be able to throw a football to his 7-year-old son.

“I’ll just keep practicing,” he said as he mastered the task of batting a balloon back and forth with his new hands.

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