Fort Lauderdale woman becomes first to test new bionic arm

Lizbeth Uzcategui says quality of life has changed


TAMARAC, Fla. – Moving fingers, Lizbeth Uzcategui has new options for the first time in 40 years.

The 43-year-old Fort Lauderdale resident has been wearing a prosthetic arm since she was 3. Not anymore.

"Overall quality of life has changed dramatically -- not just functionally, but also psychologically," Uzcategui told Local 10 News.

Uzcategui is the first woman amputee to be fitted with the i-limb quantum bionic hand, thanks to Tamarac-based Hanger Clinic.

It has 24 movements, and yes, there's an app for that.

Uzcategui pre-programs those movements and then trains the muscles in her upper arm to make the desired movement.

"I was trained to separate my muscle signals," she said.

There was a time when Uzcategui used to try to avoid drawing attention to her prosthesis. A confessed science fiction fan, she now welcomes talking about it.

"I'm so excited. You have no idea," she said. "It's not just the functional part. But it's like, I feel empowered. You know, I walk in a room and before I had to, like, try to blend in. I don't have to blend in now. I want everybody to know what this is all about and I want them to ask questions."

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