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A Freak Accident Changed His Life

Regaining His Independence

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 "A tenth of a second."  That's all it took to change Curtis Stephens life.

Curtis Stephens, Patient says "I just saw my hand, it was just mashed all to pieces."

Curtis was using a sorghum press grinding cane for the annual festival in Blairsville, Georgia, when his hand became caught in the machine.  

Dr. Mark Brzezienski, The Plastic Surgery Group says ""The loss of an arm is a devastating life altering injury."

Curtis Stephens says "You don't realize what you've got until you lose it. I can hardly write anymore, doing everything you take for granted."

Curtis's hand had to be amputated.  He soon found himself working with occupational and hand therapist, Eric Spreeman at Hayes Hand Center.
Spreeman says there is quite a bit of work that goes into getting the residual limb ready, before Curtis is ready to have his prosthetic arm put on.

Eric Spreeman, Hayes Hand Center says "Shaping, desensitizing if it is overly sensitive in areas, roughening it up and getting it ready for the prosthetic."

Eric Spreeman says they use different textures to get the end of the limb used to having something on it all the time.

Eric Spreeman, "you're going to use signals from the muscles that are there on the residual limb to power the prosthetic.

A muscle twitch  might get the fingers to flex, a double twitch will get them to open up.

For now the harness on his back is used to power the manual prosthetic he is currently using until he gets his finished prosthetic later this month.

Curtis says while this injury may not be as devastating as some others, it has definitely been life altering and reminded him not to take anything for granted, and he is excited and thankful to get part of his life and independence back.

Curtis Stephens says "It will give me some more independence, to be able to do stuff that I can't do now."


 Curtis is scheduled to get his permanent prosthetic at the end of the month. 

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