Local Teen Thrives with New Prosthetic
7/13/2012 (Updated 11:26:55 PM)(Source: Kate Thornton)
For most high schoolers, senior year means fun, proms, and creating fond memories.
"Senior year is when everyone is trying to figure out what they want to do, get a new direction. I think mine has already been chosen for me," said 18-year old Isaac Bulkley.
On Isaac's second day of school last September, he was in a motorcycle accident that changed his life forever.
"I was just driving too fast on unfamiliar roads which is the perfect recipe for an accident," said Bulkley. Bulkley was airlifted to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre where he he was treated for two brain injuries, was in a coma for a month, and loss his left forearm and left leg below the knee.
Two months after his life-altering accident, Bulkley and his family turned to the Hanger Clinic in Johnson City for the latest in prosthetic technology. "I was just trying to get back to normal. So, I just had to go through whatever I had to go through to get back," said Bulkley.
The Hanger Clinic's upper extremity specialists custom-designed and fit Bulkley with a myoelectric prosthetic arm a week before his graduation from Montrose High School. Also, just in time for his senior prom, Bulkley was fit with a new prosthetic leg. He received the new leg three hours before heading off to prom. He and his prom date even took their pre-prom pictures pictures at the Hanger Clinic.
Both Bulkley's arm and leg were made with the latest prosthetic technology. "Once I got these prosthetics, it greatly improved my independence and ambulation and all those things that were part of me before the accident," said Bulkley
"He knows exactly what he needs to fullfill his needs of daily living," said Ryan Stark from the Hanger Clinic. "Some people think they're never going to walk again and that's not what we're here for. We're here to get people back on their feet, out of their wheelchairs, and provide them with as much of the technology as we can."
Friday was also an open house for the Hanger Clinic for anyone who wished to learn more about the latest in prosthetic and orthotic technology. The Johnson City Hanger Clinic was flooded with four feet of water in the September 11' flood. Since then, the facility was recently outfitted with a completely new look and feel.
Bulkley continues to make strides in his recovery everyday. He's back to pre-accident activities like zip lining, vacationing, and bike riding. One of his passions is weight lifting. Bulkley hopes to one day compete in the Paralympics for Power Lifting.
"It's just crazy to think that one freak accident, everything can be gone, everything can change."
Bulkley is scheduled to attend Broome Community College this fall with aspirations of becoming a prosthetist or biomedical engineer so he can make prosthetic devices.
"I have ideas for prosthetic that only someone in my situation could think about," said Bulkley.
"He can certainly come back whenever he wants. We'll put him to work," said Stark.
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