Claudia Breidbach

Prosthesis type: i-limb quantum
User since:
May 2011 (i-limb pulse)
Background:
Dysmelia/congenital deficiency
Lives in:
Koblenz, Germany
Occupation:
Training Manager
Website:
www.one-hand-skydiver.de and www.karmaskydive.com

 

Claudia Breidbach jumps with both hands.

Looking down at her new hand with a smile, Claudia Breidbach explains with pride, "the i-limb has changed my life."

Claudia is a gifted architect with an unusual hobby, especially for someone who was born with a dysmelia, a congenital deficiency that involves the absence of her left hand and forearm.  Despite this challenge, Claudia courageously pursued and achieved her dream of becoming a licensed sky diver.

Claudia is now in a great place in her life, but she had to overcome many challenges to get to this point.  Until the end of 2010, Claudia used a cosmetic prosthesis and managed to live her life independently relying solely on her right hand.  However, using only her right hand to achieve the tasks of daily life was difficult for Claudia.  She experienced overuse pain from relying so much on her right side and although regular physical therapy helped to relieve the symptoms, it did not alleviate them permanently.  

In 2010, Claudia visited the OT fair in Leipzig Germany with her orthopaedic technician.  Here she discovered Touch Bionics' state-of-the-art i-limb hand.  Claudia immediately started the fitting and insurance process for the i-limb.  She was even actively involved in the insurance approval process, seeking out countless medical opinions from past and present clinicians to support her submission.  Her dedication soon paid off.  Finally, two hands! 

Adapting to a myo-electric prosthesis was challenging for Claudia, who had previously relied heavily on her dominant side.  The different grips of the i-limb device are triggered by muscle contractions in the residual limb and until this point, Claudia had not realized she was capable of controlling these muscles.  "That was quite an experience for me...when I first discovered the muscles in my forearm stump."  Upon this discovery, Claudia began exercising and strengthening the muscles in her residual limb to gain better control over her i-limb device.  After a short period of time, Claudia learned to control the device with multiple muscle triggers, bringing about a new level of functionality.  "Now I can put into practice things that, for me, were so far unimaginable.  I now lead a life with two hands and I do things with both."  In 2013, Claudia upgraded to the i-limb revolution, Touch Bionics' latest generation myolectric hand.  The i-limb revolution offers an automated thumb, 24 grip patterns and gestures, and a quick grip feature on the mobile app that allows wearers to program new grips on the go with their Apple mobile devices. 

Claudia reflects happily on the achievements she has made over the past year.  She was deputy project manager for the redesign of Koblenz's central square and also oversaw the construction of a cultural building in Koblenz. In the same year Claudia managed to bring her sky diving career to new heights by competing with team KARMA in the German National Skydiving Championship. Team KARMA is the world's first inclusive 4 way skydive team, bringing together people with and without physical disabilities to form one unified group.

 My team represents in a perfect and unique way, inclusion for all.  With our motto, 'Connecting Worlds, Crossing Borders' we want to encourage people to push boundaries and demonstrate what is possible when you believe in yourself.

Claudia Breidbach

In the early summer 2015, Claudia was fitted with the latest generation of the i-limb technology called i-limb quantum which is the first upper limb prosthesis that can change grips with a simple gesture. The latest generation is also 30% stronger, 30% faster, and offers 50% more battery life than the previous version.

To learn more about Claudia and her team, visit www.one-hand-skydiver.de or www.karmaskydive.com.