Retired Army Sgt. Ramon Padilla’s first prosthetic hand had little personal touch, nearly breaking his young son’s own hand three years ago.
But Padilla’s new version, which he showed off yesterday at Philadelphia’s newest bionic company, Advanced Arm Dynamics, has given the 36-year-old who lost his left hand and forearm fighting in Afghanistan the versatility to catch a ball and — gently — hold his son’s hand.
“My new hand can carry heavy items or I can hold hands with my family. I used to have to switch hands out when I wanted to do both,” Padilla said.
Former Walter Reed Medical Center physician, Dr. Ryan Spill, recently opened up the clinic on South Street.
The prosthetics company has already constructed bionic limbs for 14,000 patients at its other clinics throughout the country. But the futuristic body parts don’t come cheap. Hands like Padilla’s can cost anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000 depending on features and abilities. The current generation of prosthetics rely on muscles to send messages to the artificial limb.
“Targeted muscle reinnervation is the future, with the ability to control prosthetics mentally,” Spill said.
Here’s some of the amazing footage Metro photographer Rikard Larma shot during today’s visit to the center with Metro reporter Yotam Dror: