Dr. Andrew Rubin’s limb loss story begins long before his first amputation in 2017. Dr. Rubin experienced multi-organ failure in 2003. He was making great strides in recovery when, in 2006, he had an accident which very briefly paralyzed him from the neck down. In his riveting blog, The Refurbished Body, he writes about his initial illness, his vivid memories of the swimming accident and his subsequent recovery from another near death experience. Eventually, the English professor returned to writing and published a book in 2012, followed by several others.
Four years later, the longer lasting effects of the septicemia and the compartment syndrome which had paralyzed and damaged his right leg and hand in 2003 lead to a decision to amputate his lower right leg. Shortly after receiving his prosthesis, Dr. Rubin contributed pictures and video to our website featuring his return to running in the May 2017 Adventist 5K Walk Wheel or Run. If you want to read about that event (and about Luca, his Goldendoodle), you can read that by clicking here.
Not long after this successful transition to lower limb prosthetic use he made the decision to amputate his right hand. Dr. Rubin discusses this journey in a magazine article in Experience, entitled “Becoming bionic”, written by Eric Niiler.
“I began to think of limbs as replaceable parts,” Rubin says. “My hand didn’t work, so I could get a better hand. But the hand is so much more complicated. It’s the most complicated part of the body. It’s almost a work of art.”
Niiler’s interview details Dr. Rubin’s participation in testing a new type of prosthetic hand with the research and development team at Infinite Biomedical Technologies, located in Baltimore, MD. Niiler also authors an article in the technology magazine Wired, about Dr. Rubin and IBT. In “Bionic Limbs ‘Learn’ to Open a Beer”, the recently FDA approved technology is explained. This technology is covered in the second part of our story, courtesy of Megan Hodgson of IBT. Dankmeyer has been collaborating with IBT in their research efforts for several years, and is very excited that several patients are benefiting from the groundbreaking research taking place there.
Take a look at these pictures from Dr. Rubin, followed by a very cool video and then we will take you to part 2!