Stephens City man receives custom prosthetic hand


WINCHESTER, Va. (WDVM) — A Stephens City man received a custom prosthetic hand after losing his left hand on Christmas Eve.

Donald Thomas was grilling steaks for his family in the backyard when the grill fell over and the lid crushed his hands causing severe burns. He was airlifted to MedStar Hospital in Washington D.C. and a few days later, his hand was amputated.

“Up to now, it’s been almost on a daily basis learning that there’s something that is either really difficult or that you can’t do with just the one hand,” said prosthetic hand recipient Donald Thomas.

For two days, Cardinal Prosthetics and Orthotics worked with Ottobock to create a custom prostethic hand for Thomas that uses myo-electric programming.

“The advantage of myo-electric prosthesis is that he’s using the same muscles in his forearm that he would have used to open and close his left hand before he lost it in the accident,” said Ottobock certified prosthetist Byron Backus.

For Thomas, myo-electric was the best option for him opposed to the traditional strapping system.

“Seeing that he had the limitation in his right shoulder, a little bit of a compromise, he might not do well with the strapping system,” said Richard Churchill, CPO of Cardinal Prosthetics & Orthotics.

Within a few weeks, Thomas will receive the final fitting of his new prosthetic hand, followed by weeks of therapy to help him regain muscle memory.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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