San Diegan gets unique prosthesis to replace hand lost in accident
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) - A local amputee is one of the first in the world to receive a unique prosthetic device that's so high tech it's almost superhero-like.
Moises Aramburo, 23, received the technologically advanced prosthetic that is the first of its kind after losing his hand in an accident. In 2012, the Point Loma Nazarene student was riding a board being towed behind a truck on a flooded street in Mexico.
"The rope that I was holding on to caught under a sewer," he said. "The tension between the rope and the moving vehicle took off my hand."
He was flown to a hospital in San Diego where his fingers were attached in a 19-hour surgery but they didn't survive.
"It was hard for me to cope with a loss especially since it was a very silly activity I was doing," he said. "You really don't think about all the benefits of being able to be ambidextrous, hold a coffee, drive, holding your girlfriend's hand."
A year after the accident, he was fitted for his first prosthesis at the Hangar Clinic in San Diego.
But now, he's been upgraded to this brand new hand by Touch Bionics. The sensors in the silicone handpiece are thinner, the fingers are sleeker.
"The way I communicate with the sensors, they just touch my skin and they pick up the electrical brain impulse signal," he said.
Ken Hung explained that the procedure means the loss of his dominant hand no longer means he can't do simple things like holding a pen.
Aramburo can now write, drive and continue with his hobby of taking beautiful pictures. He also has several grips he can program right into his phone and one of those grips is a special grip for his camera.
Aramburo's sister Luz says all five of his siblings look up to him.
"I don't think any of us expected him to be at this point so soon, he's dealing great with it," she said. "I'm very proud."
Aramburo graduated from Point Loma Nazarene in May. He's now doing real estate development full time and also works as an ambassador for the prosthesis company.
"Just to see kids interact with the hand and know it is possible has been really helpful to me being able to help people like that," he said.
These high tech hands cost between 80 and 100 thousand dollars each. But the company is working on creating a more affordable version.
What's next for Aramburo? Learning golf and salsa dancing, two things he never tried before the accident. No doubt he will master both.