Ordinary girl, bionic fingers

Paige Edwards, 14, was born with what her prosthetic doctor calls remnant digits on her right hand. That means her palm is intact but the fingers are too small to grasp most things another teenage girl can. Her special difference has never gotten her down, though, in fact, she's molded a remarkably ordinary routine for herself, made even easier with her new ProDigits by TouchBionics.

"It helps me do stuff I've never been able to do before. The first day I had it we went on a field trip and my friend had a water bottle. All I did was practice holding and opening it. A big thing for me is doing stuff so simple like everyone else," said Edwards, of Lake George.

Edwards recently attended her last fitting at Prosthetic and Orthotic Associates in Middletown so now all that's left to complete her bionic transformation is to get fitted for LivingSkin, a silicone material that looks realistic and covers the otherwise mechanical looking fingers. Edwards said sensors pick up on what her smaller fingers or hand is trying to do, so if she pinches the prosthetic hand pinches, if she gives a "thumbs up," the fingers do too.

While having a fully functional right hand is exciting and convenient, Edwards said she's found ways to adapt to life before her bionic fingers came into the picture.

"I've had it since I was born, so I adapted to everything. I was supposed to be right-handed but had to be left-handed. A lot of active stuff I used my wrist for, like monkey bars I use my wrists. I do have some motion so I can grab something little," said Edwards. "Some things were harder to accept than others but I just got used to it, I guess."

She got so used to it that she said her friends often forget she's any different than them.

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