Courtney gets magic arm for 21st
George - After almost two years of holding onto her dream, Courtney Harvey, with the help of the community, has finally received her new high-tech prosthetic arm.
Just under two years ago, The Courtney Harvey Fund was started in an effort to raise funds for an I-Limb for Courtney, as she was born without her right forearm and longed to be able to use two hands.
Three weeks ago, Courtney’s dream became a reality when she flew to George to receive her arm, just in time for her 21st birthday. During Courtney’s week long stay in George, she met with the prosthetist, Allan Oates, who performed various tests and measurements of Courtney’s existing forearm.
Once the skin colour was matched to Courtney’s skin tone, both the hand and skin were sent from Scotland, where the I-Limb is manufactured.
“The prosthetist walked in hiding the arm under his coat. The feeling I had when I saw it is just indescribable,” said Courtney. Used to being “one arm dominant” her whole life, Courtney admits that the I-Limb will take some getting used to.
“Every day I am learning new things. It’s a huge change... but it’s a good change and I am very excited and happy with my new arm.” She adds that the limb is very easy to use and that adjusting is a case of mind over matter.
On some of the things that Courtney can do now that she has never been able to do, Courtney said, “There are so many things that people do that they normally take for granted, such as peeling a potato, holding a page while typing or pushing a trolley. I was so excited when I pushed a trolley with my hands”.
Never give up
Courtney is extremely grateful for all the aid received from the community and thanks everyone who has made donations, supported fund-raisers and helped in any way possible. “Every one of them has made a huge difference in my life and I truly appreciate it,” she said.
Her sister and Secretary of the The Courtney Harvey Fund, Cassie said, “Courtney’s journey is proof that you should never give up on your hopes and dreams. With a little hard work, determination and belief in yourself, anything is possible.”
The I-Limb Hand is controlled by a unique, highly intuitive control system that uses a two-input myo-electric (muscle signal) to open and close the hand’s life-like fingers. Myoelectric controls use the electrical signal generated by Courtney’s muscles in the remaining portion of her limb.
This signal is then picked up by electrodes that are situated in the socket and make contact with the surface of her skin.
With the new I-Limb Pulse, Courtney will be able to programme her hand via a Bluetooth connection, using specially enabled software known as ‘My Biosim’, which will allow her to set different grip patterns, control the strength of her grip and fine tune her arm.