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Minn. Man 1st U.S. Civilian To Get New Bionic Hand

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BENSON, Minn. (WCCO) – A Minnesota man is hoping technology will help improve his life. On Thursday, he’ll become the first civilian in the U.S. to get fitted with a new kind of bionic hand.

Matt Razink lost his arm in a rock-crushing device.

“When I realized I didn’t have an arm, and I couldn’t go back to work, that was huge for me. That was the hardest part,” said Razink, who is a resident Swift County.

So, Advanced Arm Dynamics fitted him with a prosthetic hand that includes an opposable thumb. It’s called the Michelangelo Hand.

Until now, it has only been available to 10 soldiers who lost their hands in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“It’s more natural to me,” said Razink. “It’s like it used to be, before I lost my arm.”

Although his arm was amputated below the elbow, the nerves are still there. So, now wires and electrodes build into his high-tech forearm help Matt control the Michelangelo hand, a lot like his natural one.

“If I want to close it, I think wrist down,” he said, showing how the mechanical wrist flexes down and the hand moves the way he wants.

They’re still tweaking things, including using BluTooth connected to a computer, Razink looked pretty comfortable after only a day of practice.

It’s a far cry from the various attachments he would screw onto his previous mechanical hand, in order to perform various tasks. Now, he doesn’t need to make any changes. He has a hand for all occasions, and a whole new outlook.

“It’s opening up a whole new way of life for me,” he said, “getting me back to be like I used to be.”

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