The New York Times reports on how advanced prosthetics technology works for a California teenager Cameron Clapp:
BLOND and buff, Cameron Clapp is a teenage star. Dressed fashionably in a faded T-shirt, baggy shorts and sneakers, he recently strolled the crowded sidewalks of Times Square. He walked confidently, flashing the megawatt smile that brightens his Web site and various photographs in newspapers and magazines that have chronicled his story as he travels the country.
Few, if any, of the onlookers had little idea that he is the poster manchild of a new generation of people who are not only embracing all types of breakthrough technologies but also incorporating them into their bodies.
For people who see Cameron Clapp for the first time, he is an object of wonderment: a young man walking and talking tall on shiny robotic legs.
“I make it look easy,” said Mr. Clapp, who is 19 and still shows flickers of the cocky skater boy he was before he became what he calls “a severe case.”
Mr. Clapp lost both his legs above the knee and his right arm just short of his shoulder after falling onto train tracks almost five years ago near his home in Grover Beach, Calif. After years of rehabilitation and trying a series of prosthetics, each more technologically sophisticated than the last, he finally found his legs.
“I do have a lot of motivation and self-esteem,” Mr. Clapp said, “but I might look at myself differently if technology was not on my side.” In the last few years, technology has definitely been on his side, in the form of the C-Leg. Introduced by Otto Bock HealthCare, a German company that makes advanced prosthetics, the C-Leg combines computer technology with hydraulics. It literally does the walking for the walker.