Prosthesis type: i-limb quantum
User since: December 2008 (i-limb hand)
Background: accident, lost his left hand
Lives in: Sappemeer, Netherlands
Date of Birth: 22.04.1963
After a serious accident in 2006 Bert Pot lost his dominant, left hand as it got stuck between two rollers. His hand was seriously damaged after the incident and had to be amputated at the wrist. “The first thing I worried about at this point was if I could ever ride a motorcycle again.” The fitting of the first prosthesis was a very painful experience for Bert Pot as he was confronted with reality that he had lost his hand and that he might not be able to pursue some of his hobbies in the future. Additionally, he became aware that even the simplest tasks of everyday life could be a challenge such as tying shoelaces, getting dressed or going shopping.
In April 2007 he received two prostheses; one of which was intended to assist in woodworking. Thinking back of his experience Bert remembers that the “prosthesis had a strange habit of falling off while I was working with it and this was because it did not fit correctly, so I was not able to operate it correctly. Because of that problem I was very frustrated and didn’t want to use the prosthesis at all”. The second prosthesis also had limitations regarding capability and precision which was the reason why Bert was looking for a more advanced prosthesis.
“I discovered the i-limb™ hand by Touch Bionics on the internet and knew I would be able to do more daily activities with this hand. I realized that if it was possible to get the money for this prosthesis, my dream would come true to become the first one with this great prosthesis in the Netherlands. In the following weeks I thought many times that I would not succeed as getting approval from my health insurance company was a bit challenging. Nevertheless, I was determined that I would go through with it to get the i-limb™ hand. I talked to the insurance company to prove that I needed the i-limb™ hand, because of the many benefits it gives. Every improvement means better quality of life for me. Finally, in December 2008 I got the i-limb™ hand, with thanks to the OIM and a lot of other people who helped me through a tough time. Life changed in a second and it would never be the same.”
Even though the loss of his hand was a devastating misfortune, Bert makes the best out of it and even manages to enjoy life more than ever before. There were many days of frustration at the beginning but with training, hard work and the help of friends and family he learnt to embrace his faith in himself and tell others that life is not over but just a new beginning. He even educates children by giving lectures. “Sometimes I tell children I swim in the ocean and got my arm bitten off by a shark and I tell them I’m the brother of captain hook and every time they look very surprised. But after the joke is over I tell them what had really happened to me. Even when I drive the car I put my arm out the window without the prosthesis and there are people who look very surprised to see me driving” he recalls.
“I have appeared in a lot of magazines, newspaper and photo shoots, I was even on some TV programs. This is with the intension to show people that life after an accident doesn’t suddenly stop. If you still want to do things, you should just go for it because nothing is impossible.“
In the early summer 2015, Bert was fitted with the latest generation of the i-limb technology called i-limb quantum which is the first upper limb prosthesis that can change grips with a simple gesture. The latest generation is also 30% faster, 30% stronger, and offer 50% more battery life. He was pleased to attend the International Society of Prosthetics and Orthotics in Lyon, France as an ambassador where Touch Bionics first announced the product introduction.
To learn more about Bert and life with his prosthesis visit http://www.1-handed.com/en/.