Bridgette Mokoena, a partial-hand amputee, enlisted the expertise of Jaco Deist, prosthetics professional and owner of Deist & Associates, so that she might be fitted with a prosthesis. Bridgette injured her hand in 2010 in a car accident and struggled without fingers on her left hand for seven years.
She had tried cosmetic prostheses but found that they made her feel awkward and did not provide her with the functionality nor comfort she was after. Then she met Jaco Deist. Bridgette would agree that with the help of Jaco and his team, Bridgette’s life was forever changed – as from November of 2017 and the months leading up to their departure to Scotland!
Through Deist & Associates, Bridgette Mokoena became the first South African partial-hand amputee to receive a bionic prosthesis. Jaco Deist saw the process through from start to finish.
The first step was to test Bridgette to determine if she has the necessary signals to control such a hand. The sensors are placed on her residual limb and then connected to a test hand. Then we took a silicone impression of her residual limb to manufacture the part where her residual limb must fit into, to fit the prosthesis to her amputated hand.
Once it was established that Bridgette was an eligible recipient of this innovative technology, plans to fit her with a Touch Bionics prosthetic commenced. The Touch Bionics partial-hand prosthesis has smart technology which allows for unprecedented dexterity. The i-digits™ technology associated with the prosthesis includes:
Individually powered digits
Full wrist movement
Automated grip patterns
32 available grip settings
When Bridgette learned that Jaco could provide her with the solution she had been longing for since 2010, she was elated!
I was extremely excited and happy! The hand will enable me to perform household and work tasks that were once challenging. I am looking forward to the improvement of my general daily efficiency and a boost in self-confidence due to the fact that I can re-establish my independence as a woman, mother and sister.
On 12 November 2017, Jaco accompanied Bridgette to Scotland where they met with Touch Bionics and their team so that everything they had worked towards could come full circle. Bridgette excelled in all the training and made progress in just one day that usually takes patients at least two. Her determination is incredible and she is an inspiring individual all-around.
Bridgette’s positive outlook on life and her hopes for a new prosthesis made for a heart-warming story that was a pleasure to watch unfold. Jaco’s bedside manner and full support resulted in a special bond that put Bridgette at ease and allowed her to excel in the task at hand.
Thanks to Bridgette’s unshaking faith she has achieved what she could not have imagined possible seven years ago.
Bridgette Mokoena hopes to inspire those who have experienced a loss of the same magnitude, to visit Deist & Associates. Many individuals are unaware of the fact that they can, in fact, be helped and we hope that by sharing Bridgette’s story, South African amputees and others across the globe, never give up hope.
Deist & Associates is proud to say that we played a role in enabling Bridgette to continue to pursue her dreams as vehemently as she wants to! We foresee great things from her.