VIDEO: Using a kayak hand

by Jen Lee Reeves on June 21, 2014 · 7 comments

in 2014, Prosthetic, Vacation14

Last summer, our family bought our very first kayak. It’s a used ocean kayak that we knew we’d love but waited many years until we finally purchased one. We bought some kayak paddles and Jordan got a canoe paddle. She was great at it. But she wanted to do more. She wanted to be able to kayak.

So last July, we worked on Jordan’s newest helper arm and made sure she had a hand that would make it possible to kayak. It’s a Lego-hand that also has a “wrist” that moves side to side. We had to wait almost a full year, but today was the moment of truth. Jordan got her helper arm on and hopped into the kayak.

We discovered Jordan tries to dig into the water like a canoe paddle and when she does that, her hand pops out. But once she mastered a more shallow paddle style, she was really pulling her weight in the kayak. Jordan learned paddling can be hard work, but she did such an awesome job.

This is a perfect example of why we work with prosthetics. Without owning one, we would have never been able to identify the different activities she wants extra help. Her Lego-hand not only helps with kayaking, it helps with biking. That’s a skill she’s struggled with for years. During Camp No Limits, she came closer than ever to mastering that skill. Tomorrow, she plans to keep working on it. She’s even excited. That’s a pretty big deal. Vacation rocks.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon Greenthal June 23, 2014 at 8:49 am

It’s amazing what’s being done with prosthetics, and your daughter is an inspiration!!

Jen Lee Reeves June 23, 2014 at 8:53 am

Thanks, Sharon! She’s a super positive force.

Judith R June 23, 2014 at 2:06 pm

What an awesome girl!
On a technique note: Her paddle was feathered (the paddle ends are set at different angles) which I don’t think works as well if she doesn’t have up and down wrist action on her lego hand or if the paddle can’t rotate through the lego hand (it was hard to see from the video). I would suggest playing with keeping the paddle ends on the same plane. I think her paddle can be adjusted.

Jen Lee Reeves June 24, 2014 at 8:14 pm

Great tip! Thanks, Judith!

sisters from another mister June 25, 2014 at 7:40 am

Never say never, in the day to day of things most of us tell ourselves .. oh, I can’t do that, and give up before we have even tried. This cherub of yours, literally takes life with ‘both hands’ and tells life she has got it. Go Jordan!

Bonnie K. Frogma February 19, 2015 at 10:12 am

Stopping by via your Women of Midlife shared post today. I LOVE this!

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