Aimee Copeland Is World’s First to Use State-of-the-Art Bionic Hands

Just over a year ago, Aimee Copeland captured the world’s attention after a zip-lining accident left her with a deep gash and a flesh-eating bacteria. To save her life, the University of West Georgia graduate student underwent multiple amputations to stop the infection. Now, thanks to the help of the latest technology in prosthetics, she can chop vegetables, pick up Skittles and fix her hair on her own.

The “i-limb ultra revolution” bionic hands are made by Touch Bionics, and run a hefty $120,000 each. The hands can be controlled remotely with an iPad application and a blue-tooth connection. According to a spokesperson for the company, the “bioism” software can be downloaded to an iPhone or iPod, as well.

Copeland plans to use the hands to keep up with her house, as she is a self-proclaimed neat freak. She is also very excited about being able to cook her food, as she’s been eating mostly microwavable meals since her surgeries.

“I really want to be able to get back in the kitchen and start cooking some delicious vegetarian meals for myself,” she said as she used the hands in a demonstration for media outlets this week.

“It just mimics so well a natural hand that it really just reminds me of before the accident, how I would have done things,” she added. “I never thought I would actually be able to hold a knife and cut something. That’s just incredible.”

Copeland’s story, combined with her optimistic, upbeat attitude on life, captured more than the hearts of the media during her struggle to pull through the tragedy. A builder donated an 1,956-square-foot addition, called “Aimee’s Wing”, to her family’s Snellville, GA home.

She will also be getting some extra help this summer in the form of a guide dog that can help her open doors, turn on lights and even retrieve her favorite snacks from the refrigerator. Copeland is hoping to receive a prosthetic leg this year, so she can walk to her classes as she works on her second masters degree.

Some of the team at AMS Vans had the chance to get to know Aimee at last year’s Run, Walk, n Roll fundraising event hosted by Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC). Details of the event, along with videos of Copeland’s inspirational words at the event, can be found at: