Prosthesis type: i-digits quantum
Background: accident at work, lost four of his fingers on his left hand
Lives in: Chatanooga, Tennessee/USA
Occupation: Retail Sales
Date of Birth: 6/2/1987
August 15th, 2013 began like any other day. Jake Adams reported to work at a local food distribution plant and glanced at his schedule. He was assigned to assist on the sandwich packaging line, an area of the plant of which he was unfamiliar. A short time later, Jake had his hand resting on one of the packaging machines when his co-worker pressed the start button from eight feet away. Before he could react, Jake’s left hand was caught between the heavy metal plates, crushing four of his fingers in the process.
Jake was rushed to a local emergency center where medical professionals worked to save his fingers, but even before amputation became a reality, Jake knew in his heart that the damage was too severe—Jake would lose four of his fingers on his left hand. Only his thumb would be spared.
Jake wasted no time looking for prosthetic solutions that would bring back function to his hand. While recovering from his hospital bed, he searched the internet for bionic partial hand solutions and came across i-limb digits, Touch Bionics’ externally powered partial hand prosthesis. “If I had the option to have a working hand again, I was going to take it. I knew then and there that i-limb digits were my best chance.”
Following the accident, Jake’s healing process was as much emotional as it was physical. He felt a sense of deep loss and mourning. “I had a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. I worried how people would look at me and whether I would be accepted. I didn’t want to go out in public for fear of being judged. I had lost a part of myself and more than anything, I wanted to feel whole again.”
As soon as he had healed enough to do so, Jake contacted a local clinic to discuss his interest in i-limb digits. His prosthetist, Jim Rogers, moved quickly to get all of the paperwork to insurance and within just three short months, Jake and Jim were on their way to Touch Life Center, Touch Bionics’ training and fabrication center in Ohio. There, Jake would be fitted with a custom-made i-limb digits prosthesis.
Jake’s experience at Touch Life Center was a positive one. By the end of the first day, he had a prototype device fitted around his residual limb so that his clinical team could begin strength and control training while the fabrication team was building him a custom prosthesis to wear home in a few days.
“When I first got the prototype, it was the most amazing thing to just go to the fridge and grab a coke."
Jake was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to operate his prosthesis. “It was simply a matter of learning how to use muscles in certain ways and bringing back sensation I had already had.” Jake learned how to button up a shirt, tie his shoes, and cut up food with both hands, among many other important tasks for daily living. He left the Touch Life Center with a custom made i-limb digits prosthesis and a renewed sense of confidence and self-worth.
I received my i-limb digits hand one week before Thanksgiving so you can imagine when the holiday rolled around I had a lot for which to be thankful. I got a piece of me back that I thought I would never be able to recover.
Upon returning home, friends and family saw an immediate change in Jake’s behavior.
My girlfriend was happy to see my confidence and happy demeanor return as I had been angry and frustrated for so long. I resented having to rely on her and others to help me throughout the day and I took my feelings out on the people I loved most. Now I no longer need them to do everything for me. I can tie my own shoes; I can use a knife again to cut my own food. The return of my independence gave me an indescribable sense of mental peace and comfort.
Always one to see the silver lining, Jake reflects back on this experience and sees that it has made him a better person. He sees people with disabilities in a different light, admiring them for their incredible strength and resilience as opposed to pitying them.
In the fall 2015, Jake upgraded his partial hand prosthesis to i-digits quantum and was among the first in the world to be fitted. The product was unveiled at the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Assocation's National Assembly in San Antonio. The i-digits quantum introduced a new ground-breaking standard for myoelectric prosthetic partial hands. The bionic hand incorporates the company's patented i-mo technology and the first partial hand prosthesis that can change grips with a simple gesture. The hand it also faster, stronger, and smaller than any of its predecessors.
Jake’s experience has stirred in him a desire to help others with similar challenges. He is planning to pursue a career as an occupational therapist, focused on rehabilitation and upper-limb amputations. He is also looking forward to sharing his story with others who are dealing with the same emotional journey, to help them see the light at the end of the tunnel and learn to live a fulfilling life after amputation.