It was over 14 years ago that Sean McHugh lost his right hand in a construction accident. A successful reattachment procedure initially gave Sean hope that life would return to normal, but the affected hand quickly became problematic, causing excessive pain and offering limited functionality.
On the advice of medical professionals, Sean made the decision to undergo a re-amputation – a choice he says he has never regretted:
“I got to a point where the constant aggravation just became too much, so when the second amputation came around, I was completely ready for it. I felt a real sense of relief following the operation and I saw it as a starting point from which I could actually begin to move forward.”
Over the subsequent years, Sean kept abreast of advancements in the world of upper extremity prostheses, in an effort to find a product that would perform to his satisfaction. However, having trialled a cross-section of designs to no avail, Sean was left doubting he would ever find something to suit his needs:
“The prostheses I used prior to the bebionic3 proved to be a combination of heavy, clumsy, unpredictable and difficult to operate. Although some of the electrical prostheses offered a variety of grip patterns, the sensory triggers used to control the hand were unnatural and almost impossible to achieve.
“I always felt that they just simply were not allowing me to work to my full potential and, as time went on, they became a constant source of frustration, leaving me feeling defeated and truly disabled.”
It was whilst working alongside the John Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Maryland, USA, that Sean was given the chance to trial the bebionic3 – an opportunity which has restored his faith in technology:
“The bebionic3 is without a doubt the most functional prosthesis I’ve ever worn and it has completely exceeded my expectations in every way. Its strength, design and usability all make the experience of being an amputee so much easier – it’s the nearest thing to being able-bodied again.
“I didn’t ever imagine I would see this level of innovation during my lifetime, but prosthetic technology has advanced far beyond what I thought was possible – the bebionic3 is proof of that.”