Ordinary girl, bionic fingers

"My friends will be talking to me and I'll have an ice cream cone in one hand and they'll ask me to hold theirs for a second and then they feel bad because they forgot [I can't]," said Edwards. "I don't ever remember a time where it was something negative in my life, I always made it something positive."

Edwards first saw ProDigits on the Today Show and quickly urged her mother to look into it. After finding out a friend from California with the same type of hand as hers was getting fitted, Edwards' mom found the Hudson Valley practice that could fit her with ProDigits of her own.

"This particular form of electronic 'bionic' prosthesis for a finger are really relatively brand new and have only been available to the world community for one year this month. Prior to that, for something like this young woman, there really was nothing available to allow her to be able to pick up an apple or orange; not technically small enough to actually bend and extend like fingers do," said Tom Passero, her prosthetic doctor. "She's one of the first 150 people in the world getting this technology and the first in the Hudson Valley."

Passero's company has been involved, accidently he said, since the very first whisperings of ProDigits began circulating throughout a global clinical team around two years ago. The prosthetic fingers were developed by engineers and clinicians in Scotland by a company called TouchBionics, which introduced the first bionic hand, a precursor to ProDigits. What TouchBionics didn't have, though, was a covering that looked like real skin. Passero did, having developed the product LivingSkin himself, so the companies merged, making Prosthetic and Orthotic Associates one of a few dozen in the world that know how to fit for bionic fingers.

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