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CRI听力:Boston Marathon bomb survivors may get advanced prosthetics

Source: CRI    2018-04-16  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

Survivor Marc Fucarile is one of the seventeen people who lost limbs in the Boston bombing five years ago.

He lost his right leg in the blast, and his left leg was badly maimed.

Fucarile says his left leg is the source of unceasing pain, but he's held onto it hoping for change.

"I still question every day when and if I'm gonna to keep it or when I'm gonna to cut it off. That's the reality I live with, but I'm hoping on technology changing. I'm hoping on surgeries, things changing in the future. So I'm gonna hold on to it as long as I can and tolerate and deal with the pain for as long as I can. But yeah, my left leg is a nuisance every day."

Boston is now one of a number of centers where doctors are carrying out research to combine an improved amputation method with more sophisticated artificial limbs.

This will mean amputees can one day use their brains to control their prostheses.

Fucarile is intrigued by the new advances.

"So seeing all the new advancements in technology and surgical procedures that are being tried and practiced and studied. I'm taken back. I'm blown away. I'm excited because, you know, it potentially could make my life better."

A positive thing to come out of the bombing on April 15th, 2013 is the collective experience gained by the doctors who treated patients in the aftermath.

Dr. Matthew Carty, reconstructive plastic surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital, says the event clarified the crucial need to improve amputations.

"The gravity of the bombings and the intensity of the experience really pushed me and my colleagues and our collaborators over at MIT to start thinking about things much more, in much more granular terms."

Dr. Carty predicts the development of the technology that will translate brain signals into movement of an artificial leg.

"When coupled with an appropriately adapted next-generation prosthesis will enable folks who are suffering limb loss who undergo this modified procedure to have much more exquisite control of the prosthetic limb, but also to get sensory information back."

The device could cost from 15,000 dollars to more than 100,000 dollars.

For some amputees, insurance often isn't enough to cover the surgery costs.

The Boston victims received payouts from a compensation fund, and some have launched fundraising efforts or found other ways to cover their costly devices


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