Jay's Myoelectric Arm!


Just over five years ago I lost my arm to a disease process. It was a crazy experience to say the very least.

At the time of the amputation, I was told by my orthopaedic surgeon that she would save as much of the arm as possible as well as the nerves so I could get a "good arm in the future". At the time I had no clue what THAT meant - a good arm as opposed to a bad one?

The next few years were spent rehabbing my stump, learning to tie my shoes, open things, and most challenging of all - learning to write with my left hand!

A few months ago (actually 11 months)I was seen by a physician for a new prosthetic. Then referred to a prostheticist. The tech asked if I had ever considered a myoelectric. I replied, "right, my insurance scoffed and drug their feet on a lobster claw prosthetic!" The tech said he had a few ideas for convincing the insurance company.  

For the better part of 11 months the tech, my team of physicians (orthopedist, oncologist, and family medicine docs) have fought a battle with the medical insurance company.  Everyone, including me, was at the point of throwing in the proverbial towel.  The surgeon called the insurance company and told them that if they would approve the myoelectric prosthetic, she would donate her services for the four procedures required for the device. Then. . .

Saturday afternoon I was informed via a letter in the mail sent by the insurance company,  after several months of reviews and tests they had requested, that they APPROVED the myoelectric prosthesis for me.

The catch is the $2,000.00 co-pay.

The myoelectric arm and hand will allow me to type with two hands again, begin learning to write with my right hand again (this left-handed writing of mine is still horrible!),  hold my youngest grandson without the fear of dropping him, and so many other things that we all take for granted (think about fastening your pants, using a can opener, and tying your tennis shoes with only one hand). 

100% of the $2,000.00 will go to the University for the insurance co-pay.   Any remaining funds will be donated to the Amputee Coalition (https://www.amputee-coalition.org/) to support the AMAZING work they do with amputees, our

families, and caregivers.

Any assistance you may provide will be GREATLY appreciated!
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JT Santana 
Cedar Rapids, IA
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