Meet Debbie

Let’s start at the beginning, tell us about the first time you tried Coapt. For example, where were you, who were you with, what was it like, etc.?

I actually saw Nikki Kelly with hers on Facebook & knew right then that I needed it! I tried it for the first time at American Prosthetics & fell in love! Growing up I had two grips, open & close, so all the movement that Coapt enables me to do was so freeing! I felt like for the first time in my life I had as close to a real hand as I could possibly get. Total game changer for me!

Before you used Coapt, what were some of the pain points or difficulties in your day to day activities either using other prostheses (if applicable) or just in general living with a limb difference?

I had not had a prosthetic arm for 32 years. Since I was born without my left forearm and hand I am pretty used to doing things without, but that is hard on my right arm. I had promised myself that I would not waste the money on one that I would not wear. I definitely wear this arm! I am learning the two-handed life such as doing my hair, cooking, and cleaning. Also doing my job.

With a Coapt system, what are some ways that your daily routine has changed for the better?

I don’t feel like I am overusing my right arm anymore. Cooking is getting easier especially cutting things. I can actually hold things still or even cut with my prosthetic arm! I can use my arm to help with my hair & makeup!

What is your most memorable Coapt moment since becoming a Coapt user?

Holding my grandson for the first time. I was very nervous because I had never even held my own kids with 2 hands. Made me tear up a bit. Hard for 2 handed people to understand but I was afraid I would hurt him with two hands! Happy to say he is just FINE! Also holding hands with my husband for the first time with my left hand! See picture!

What would your advice be for a first-time Coapt user?

Don’t give up keep practicing. Once you get going you won’t need to Calibrate every day!

What are some of the biggest misconceptions you see about people living with a prosthesis?

That they really don’t do much for you. I actually thought this until my new arm! The arm with Coapt is phenomenal. So close to the real thing!

Plug yourself! What are you most proud of this year? Any milestones in your life? Any thing else that you’re eager to shout from the rooftops?

I am so proud of myself for taking pride in my disability! For most of my life, I have hidden my arm around people that I don’t know! I have met so many people within the last year that were born just like me through the Lucky Fin Project. I went to the weekend that they organize and met 700 people who were born like me or are amputees.

I am also proud that after 32 years of not having a prosthetic that I am adapting quite well to have 2 hands.

What’s next for you – do you have any big or small goals on the horizon?

I would love to go out & speak about diversity! I am working on it! Keep in touch with all of my new friends! Get my new Gen 2 wiring put in right now so can’t wait to give that a try!

Finally, are there any other details about your Coapt experience or your experience living with a prosthesis you’d like to share?

It has been a great experience all the way around! I would highly recommend Coapt to anyone with a prosthetic arm! Your life will change forever!

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