June 2010

Eighteen year-old Michael Waldron of Glen Burnie, Maryland is a multi-talented high school senior. Whether on the lacrosse field as a goalie, playing bass with his high school orchestra or in the classroom, Michael excels. Born with only a thumb on his right hand, Michael never let his disability stop him. His love for the bass led to his creation of a special glove he designed himself that would allow for him to play the instrument with ease. Rather than being defeated by his disability, Michael constantly looks for solutions. Now Michael has found the ultimate solution.

Recently, Michael Waldron became one of the first in the U.S. to receive bionic fingers, called ProDigits. Developed by Touch Bionics, ProDigits, short for Prosthetic Digits, are independently powered and controlled, self-contained fingers designed specifically for partial hand patients like Michael. He will now have independent movement of his fingers through myo-electric control, a nerve signal technology that had been unattainable until now. This technology will ensure Michael unprecedented mobility, reflecting the function of a natural hand. “I’m excited and ready to put them to good use!” says Waldron.

In the past, the technology for powered bionic solutions was not available to partial hand amputees. “This is the single greatest advance in prosthetics in the last quarter-century,” says Michael’s Prosthetist, John Jacobs, CPO at one of the Ability Prosthetics & Orthotics, Inc. five patient care centers, “At Ability, we pride ourselves on being able to find the very best solution for each of our patients,” said Jacobs. “We love helping patients like Michael follow their dreams.” The digits were custom designed and fabricated for Michael by Jacobs and the Touch Bionics clinical staff at Touch Bionics’ Columbus, Ohio headquarters.

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