Friday, May 15, 2009
Medical Reports: Dolphin Tales
She may be the only dolphin to lose her tail and survive. Now, her progress in the water is helping amputees on land. In today's Healthcast, Seven's Christine Cruz tell us about the dolphin's one-of-a-kind prosthetic that's making life more comfortable for people who've lost a limb.
WSVN -- Winter the dolphin doesn't realize it, but she's a role model.
She lost her tail to a crab trap nearly three years ago. Winter survived and is thriving thanks to this prosthetic tail. It allows her to swim while protecting her spine from injury.
Abby Stone: "And so, by using this prosthetic, she's able to move in a more natural way, the way dolphins were intended to move in the water."
Winter is helping humans too. The new rubber-like gel developed to keep her tail secure underwater is also working for amputees like prosthetic designer Dan Strzempka.
Dan Strzempka: "Either golfing, working, the perspiration was always an issue. They asked me, why don't you go ahead and try it on yourself, just thinking, sure I'll try it, and give them some feedback. It ended up vastly improving my lifestyle as far as keeping the leg on."
Winter's progress is an inspiration to others as well. Brandon lost his leg in a boating accident and now works with the miracle mammal.
Brandon Saunders: "I felt like we had something in common because we both had our accidents in the water, and we both have prosthetic legs."
A working relationship that's benefiting a new generation of amputees.
Christine Cruz: "The new gel used in Winter's tail is already widely available, helping a growing number of human prosthetic patients around the world."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics