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Dan

Middletown, NY

Occupation

Owner, Par 5 Landscaping

Technology

Body-powered and externally powered prostheses

Handspring Hero Since

2019

Success Story

At 33 years old, Dan was electrocuted when trimming trees in October, 2018, which resulted in very short bilateral transhumeral amputations.   The trauma also left significant scarring in both axilla regions which limited his range of motion in both of his arms- especially on the left side.  Originally, his left humerus was so short and he had such limited motion, that it was going to be treated as a shoulder disarticulation (which means he would have to have a prosthetic shoulder joint).  When we first met Dan, his main goals were to continue operate and run his own landscaping company in New Windsor, NY called Par 5 Landscaping.  He also wanted to drive race cars again, maintain his property, and become independent. Not many new amputees have such specific goals- especially having such high-level amputations in both arms.  Dan has always had a positive attitude throughout this entire process.  Dan was also extremely driven- knowing exactly what he wanted to accomplish from day one.  With this attitude, and an amazing support system in his family and fiancée, the Handspring team was up for the challenge.

What Stands Out

Dan’s treatment began with addressing his right, dominant side.  Fortunately, the right side had better mobility and length.  Five months after his accident, a right body powered prototype was fit and delivered.  Two weeks after he took the prototype home, he reported:
 

“I was able to wear the right side body powered prosthesis yesterday for 12 hours. I can turn the stove on, drive a skid steer, carry a backpack leaf blower, push a rolling leaf blower and climb under my truck to assess for service and repairs. The latex tubing on the hook is helping with maintaining a grasp on what I hold. I was able to pick up and carry a sledgehammer.  I’m looking forward to starting the left side with body powered control.”
 

At this point, we knew that there was nothing that was going to stop Dan achieve his goals.  The Handspring team in Middletown, NY needed to be able to keep up with Dan.

Dan’s range of motion on his left side improved so much that the Handspring team delivered bilateral transhumeral body powered prostheses to Dan eight months after his accident.  There was enough of a humerus on the left side and enough mobility to capture the humerus in a socket and create a harness that would give Dan full control over both prostheses.  This is no easy task and really speaks to the expertise and experience the Handspring team has in dealing with such a complex presentation.

Two years later, Dan has exceeded all the goals he set for himself when we first met him. In addition to operating and running his own business during a pandemic, Dan got married on November 7th, 2020 and had a baby girl in February, 2021 and is racing cars again.  Moving forward, the only challenge for Dan and the Handspring team is being able to keep everything in working order.  

Dan - Handspring Hero holding newborn daughter

Sage Advice

Dan continues to push the limits of what these devices can do.  He is an extremely heavy-duty user and relies on his prostheses to maintain his independence, make a living and self-care.  The Handspring team in Middletown has done an amazing job making sure that Dan always has a working set of prostheses considering how many repairs to componentry that has been needed.  With the right attitude, and the right team, anything is possible.

Handspring Heroes

Maggie - Handspring Hero wearing activity specific prosthesis riding a bike
Jodie - Handspring Hero wearing myoelectric prosthetic and riding a horse
Chris - Handspring Hero and Olympic Skier on Slope
Courtney - Handspring Hero wearing myoelectric prosthesis riding a horse and carrying a flag of the US
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Providing holistic, specialized care in upper & lower extremity prosthetic rehabilitation.

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