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.?
The first opportunity I had to try Coapt was in Chicago and flooded me with astonishment over how much I knew it could change my life. I had watched videos of all kinds of new technology for upper limb prosthetics, but the awe in watching it on a video is nothing compared to actually being in control of the device itself, and I won’t ever forget that moment for as long as I live.
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?
There are so many minute tasks that are a day-to-day struggle for anyone without the use of two hands, down to the simple task of putting on socks (not to mention the extra time it takes if they start off inside out) was a hassle. To blow dry my hair would mean a frizzed-out Einstein look for the day. Making and packing a sandwich for lunch was always a dreaded chore that would take longer than it should to accomplish. I often had to use my teeth to open any snack bag or a sugar packet for my cup of coffee. On several occasions that I did take the extra step of hurriedly finding scissors to open something, I ended up snipping a hole in the sleeve of my shirt. Grabbing any dish or item from a shelf above my head was always a wincing balancing act while I nervously tried to make sure the grip I had with my sound hand was stable enough to not injure myself or break anything. When leaving the house for the day, I used to have a hard time holding the side gate shut while pushing the key into the lock to turn it…. the list goes on
With a Coapt system, what are some ways that your daily routine has changed for the better?
The entire kitchen in my home has seen far more of me now that I can grind seasonings while cooking and put leftovers into containers with far less of a mess. I feel better about myself and my appearance as well now that I can hold my hairdryer wand in one hand and round brush in the other. Efficiently packing up and zippering my work bag before leaving the house has also become far less of a blow to my ego.
What is your most memorable Coapt moment since becoming a Coapt user?
My heart sings every time I have had the opportunity to see someone experience using the Coapt system for the first time and knowing exactly what it feels like to see their expression change as the endless possibilities hit them like a title wave. That is the kind of stuff life is about.