Marine Staff Segeant James Sides lost his right arm from the elbow down following an IED explosion in Afghanistan in 2012. For a while, Sides was using a prosthetic hand to give him some semblance of life before the accident. Eleven months later, and Sides is using a potentially revolutionary new prosthetic that can be controlled by his own muscles.
Out on a routine reconnaissance mission in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, Marine Staff Sergeant James Sides reached out his right hand to grab the bomb. It was the ordnance disposal tech’s fifth deployment overseas, and his second to Afghanistan. But this time, July 15, 2012, the improvised explosive device detonated. Sides was blinded in his left eye and lost his right arm below the elbow. After a long recovery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Sides learned to use a prosthetic hand. Then 11 months later, he went back to the hospital — this time, for a surgical implant that could represent the future of prosthetics.
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