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 first tried Coapt when I attended a prosthetics conference in Chicago. I was approached and asked to try Coapt’s product. I had written off using prosthetics while using my last device in high school, but to be polite I said I was willing to try. I sat down in a chair and was hooked into the Coapt test device. Once I was hooked into the device, Blair talked me through the process of training the Coapt device. We trained the hand, in real time, together and once it was finished Blair said, “Ok you’re in control.” My eyes bugged out of my head as instantly I was able to control the device. I was in shock that prosthetic could feel intuitive and not heavy or “in the way.” In a matter of 5 minutes I was fully convinced that Coapt was something I needed in 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?
Having been born with just one hand, I had no choice but to learn how to do everything in my own adaptive way. Even still, there were a few activities that I always relied on others to help me with – my favorite small example is using a salt and pepper grinder. I ALWAYS had to rely on others to grind my salt and pepper. Coapt allows me freedom and independence to do this on my own. I know it sounds small – but imagine thousands of “small” things like this that I now have independence in. It changes everything.
With a Coapt system, what are some ways that your daily routine has changed for the better?
Coapt gives me the ability to quickly switch from using my right hand and left arm to using my right hand and bionic left hand. I am easily able to switch back and forth with ease, allowing me to incorporate the device into my day in a way that works best for the way my body functions. Additionally, Coapt give me the power to control my device in real time. On my prosthetic I have buttons which allow me to turn it on and off and allow me to recalibrate. This type of control give me freedom from constantly having to contact my prosthetic clinic in order to “fix” my prosthetic.
What is your most memorable Coapt moment since becoming a Coapt user?
My favorite memory with Coapt was attending the Amputee Coalition conference with the team. I loved this opportunity because I was able to proudly be a part of team who, in real time, were testing potential users. I saw myself and my first experience with Coapt in every person who came to our booth. I knew how quickly my 5 minute visit to the Coapt booth had changed my life and it was surreal to be on the other side of the table helping share the product with others. The Coapt team is amazing and I feel such pride when I am with them in professional spaces.