Veteran amputee regains sense of touch through electric current

Veteran amputee regains sense of touch through electric current
(Source: KAIT)

(KAIT/NBC) - It's a feeling many of us couldn't begin to understand. That's reality for thousands of men and women who've lost a limb in combat.

Forty-four-year-old Army veteran Shawn Findley injured a part of his hand in a fabrication shop accident.

Thirteen reconstructive surgeries later and still in tremendous pain, he chose to have doctors amputate his entire hand and part of his forearm.

Thanks to an incredible opportunity, Findley can now feel his hand for the first time in 12 years.

Texas doctors created a robotic hand that moves and provides sensation.

In a three-month trial funded by the Department of Defense, Jonathan Cheng's team at UT Southwestern researched ways to communicate with the residual nerves inside the arm of an amputee.

"Whenever we deliver electrical stimulation into those nerves, we actually are able to give the sensation of feeling and in many cases, the sensation of movement," Cheng said.

The technology will need FDA approval, but it could be on the market in as little as three years.

For more of Findley's story, click here.

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