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Bethany Hamilton “Soul Surfer” Bethany Biography Surfs Again Bethany’s More about Prosthetic Prosthesis Arm Biography •Bethany Hamilton is a Nationally ranked teen surfer. •On October 31, 2003, Bethany Hamilton went for her daily, morning surf along Tunnels Beach, Kauai with her best friend Alana, and Alana’s family. •Around 7:30 a.m., she was lying sideways on her surfboard with a severed left arm, after a 14 ft tiger shark attacked her. • The shark had managed to rip her left arm off just below the shoulder. HOME •If the shark had bitten 2 inches further in, the attack would have been fatal. Bethany lost 60% of her blood that morning. Bethany Surfs Again •Despite the trauma of the incident, Hamilton was determined to return to surfing. •Just three weeks after the incident, she returned to the ocean and went surfing again. •She adopted a custom-made board that was longer and slightly thicker which made it easier to paddle. •She observed that she would have to kick a lot harder to make up for the loss of her left arm. HOME •After teaching herself to surf with one arm, she had begun surfing competitively once again. •Even though Hamilton could surf successfully with only one arm, she received a prosthetic arm three months after the attack. Bethany’s Prosthetic Arm •Rehabilitation experts said that the shark attack wouldn’t end 13-year-old Bethany Hamilton's future as a promising young surfer – and they were right: “Many children who suffer amputations are ‘absolutely’ able to resume their activities,” said Elton Bacon, manager of the Orthotics and Prosthetics Department at Shriners Hospital for Children. •When the teenager decided to use a prosthesis to replace her left arm, there were a wide range of highly advanced, lightweight devices available. The artificial limbs "are about as close to fully functioning as you can get, although they lack sensation”, said Bacon. HOME •The recovery phase, including occupational therapy, in which a patient learns how to use a prosthetic device, could take days, weeks or months. "It takes a lot of coordination and rethinking on how to do things," he said. More about Prosthesis: •A prosthesis is an artificial extension that replaces a missing body part. •Prosthesis is part of the field of biomechatronics, the science of fusing mechanical devices with human muscle, skeleton, and nervous systems to assist or enhance motor control lost by trauma, disease, or defects. •Though many prosthetics are clearly made of artificial materials, the practice of “cosmesis”, the creation of HOME life-like limbs made from silicone or PVC, has grown in popularity. •Such prosthetics, such as artificial hands, can now be made to mimic the appearance of real hands, complete with freckles, veins, hair, fingerprints and even tattoos.
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