Meet Heather


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.?

It was a few years back & I was at Winnipeg Prostetics & Orthotics with Peter my amazing Prosthetist. We had spent time discussing & making decisions together about what the best way to design a prosthetic that would work best for me. He had mentioned this amazing technology he had seen at a convention, and said it might work well for me. The MOMENT I tried it, (it was only on a Michealangelo arm) I knew it would change my life.


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?

On a day to day basis, regular things that most people would not think about can become very difficult. For example, I used to be right handed, & had to relearn how to think in whole a different way. Now having this amazing prosthetic that is SO EASY to use (& I cannot stress that enough, 2.0 is way easier than 1.0) has made so many tasks easier, from simply holding makeup or cards,to cutting food, or cooking!


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

I just got my new one, so I’m literally figuring out all the cool things I can do. But, every day I learn more. So I guess that’s the amazing thing, that’s the gift, right?


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

Hmmm, that’s a hard question. Probably when we were trying to get it approved by our provincial insurance provider (MPI) so we had a demonstration at Wpgpo. My case manager tried a demo and was completely blown away by the technology. We got approval for my amazing prosthetic & I knew this would was going to change the lives of amputees in Manitoba forever.


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

Relax when you calibrate.


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

There are so many. It’s not always easy, sometimes it hurts, sometimes your prosthetic may not fit properly because of swelling or whatever is going on with your body, the point is it’s rarely perfect because it’s real life.


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?

This year I’ve managed to get into really great shape again because I’ve been doing some pretty hard core physiotherapy (in preparation for my prosthetic). So I’m pretty proud of that. I’ve started expressing myself artistically again (drawing, painting, etc) & since this is with my left hand (I used to do a lot of this with my right before the amputation) it’s been a beautiful journey. Also, I’m on the Board of Directors with MADD Canada Winnipeg Chapter & am the Director of Fundraising for the Chapter.


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

Yes, I want to be an ambassador for Coapt. I want to finish the work on my personal blog, myamputeelife.com and get that launched very soon. I want to inspire others, I want to change the way people with disabilities are viewed. We ARE beautiful, capable, sexy, fun, powerful. I know it will take more than just me…but we have to start somewhere, right?


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

Just that I absolutely LOVE it, and I feel blessed every day to have this wonderful piece of art/technology.

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