Amber Peterson: Girl Born Without Arm Relies On Prosthetics For Gymnastics, Baseball, Life


Cal and I have four children. We have
Nicolas, Jordan, Trent and then Amber. So we had the three
boys, healthy boys, and when I was pregnant with Amber, I decided that we
should find out if it’s a boy or a girl. So before Amber was born I had a routine
ultrasound, and from that ultrasound we found out that Amber would be born
missing her right hand and two-thirds of her forearm. I remember the day she came
home from her ultrasound and she told me and I could tell she had been emotional. And as
with a lot of things I think I — I went outside and I — we talked about it, but
then I went out and you think about it. In my first reaction of it, I think — I
think things are gonna be fine. I wanted to know everything I could about upper
limb prosthetics. I started reading text books, I started calling around, you know,
called different prosthetic offices. Anything I could find. By the time she
was born we already had a plan in place. And kind of an idea of what we wanted to
do. So when Amber was six months old she got her passive prosthesis and that was
really nice because it allowed her to start batting at objects with the
prosthetic device, so she had added length, It also helped her for sitting up
and for crawling and even starting to pull up for standing. I remember when she
got her first prosthesis that, I actually — I remember coming home from school — at
first I couldn’t tell which arm was missing. ‘Cause I had never seen a prosthesis
before. It wasn’t until 18 months that she was able to get her first
myoelectric prosthesis, and the reason for that is that we had to struggle a
little bit with the insurance company. And so she was fitted 18 months, and
started incorporating that into her daily activities. She wore it all day,
every day, and it just became part of her. So I think, Amber, with the myo, it’s just
in my mind it’s been unbelievable. There’s been so many times where I’ve — where we’ve
been in different places and people don’t even know. Really. I mean, especially
in the wintertime, with a longer sleeve on, they’ll look at her hand and — and you
have to basically tell ’em. And just from a girl standpoint, I think it’s it’s
been real good for her and and good to see from a parent’s standpoint. When she
was about three-and-a-half years old, we realized that now she’s to an age where
she wants to do more activities. Rough and tough things that all the other kids
want to do, too. And with a myoelectric, you can’t really
be in the sandbox or in the water. And so then we were able to get her a sports
prosthesis. So that she had just like a passive hand again for — if she’s playing
soccer or catching a ball. She was able to get a baseball prosthesis that would
hold on to the bat. And then shortly after that, we decided to have her take
violin lessons. So then she was able to get a violin prosthesis that allowed her
to hold the bow and play violin. Now that Amber’s eight, she’s — she can do
gymnastics … [Gymnastics teacher]: Go ahead, backbend and kick over. And finish. Good. Let’s do it again, that was really good. I think Amber will be able to do almost anything she wants to, but it might be a little difficult at first, but
she can learn and adapt. Okay, so chin hold. Pull your hips to the bar. Good. I’ll hold your
legs, you pull yourself up. And make your arms straight. [Prosthetist, Pat]: Hi guys how are you? Hi Jennifer, nice to see you. How are you? Amber, how are you doing? Do I get a hand
shake today? Nice to see you — how you doing? [Amber]: Good. Excellent. Well, you picked up a new
socket, and we want to check on things, see how things are going today. All right. What we found is that upper limb prosthetics is really different
than lower limb prosthetics. To me, it seems a little more complex, just because
the hand is more complex. And so it’s very helpful to have someone who
specializes in upper limb prosthetics, who really knows the ins-and-outs and
works with upper limb prosthetics day in and day out. [Children playing/yelling] Rock-paper-scissors, rock-paper-scissors. Playing with Amber is pretty much just like playing with any other kid with
two arms. I think it’s just been amazing to think
about when Amber first came home, missing her right hand and now ,through the use
of these prosthesis devices it’s — she’s been able to be a normal, now, an
eight-year-old girl. And do all the things that other eight-year-old girls
are doing. Today, stand up if you are the youngest in your family or an only child. Youngest, or only, kay? We — we go day-by-day and she
just does what she’s doing, but when we take time to look back, and — and reflect,
that’s when I feel that emotion rising up. And — and just feel so — so thankful that
she can do all the things that kids her age can do that need to be done normally
with two hands. It opens and closes and it looks more like a hand. And then — then
more people don’t really ask me questions about it. Sometimes I kind of get — get annoyed
of people asking me questions, ’cause a lot of people do. Amber and I have been
friends since, like ,we were babies, and it’s neat that she can have two hands that
look like everybody else’s. She’s just so full of life and just loving what
she’s doing. And kids chase her, and she’s chasing them and there’s no thought to
the fact that she’s missing a hand. [Amber]: He’s dancing on her head. [Laughs]

15 thoughts on “Amber Peterson: Girl Born Without Arm Relies On Prosthetics For Gymnastics, Baseball, Life

  1. This is what scientists/doctors sect. Should be working on artificial body parts not just limbs but organs and stuff as well

  2. You can EASILY live without one hand. I had a neighbor born without his left hand and missing half his forearm. He did everything other kids did. He plays video games (xbox) he plays outdoor games and everything. I think arm prosthetics for upper arm people who were born this way is a waste of money. This costs 10's of thousands of dollars. Most amputees don't wear them because they see them as a bother that gets in the way. Missing one hand is no big deal. They can do anything anyone else can without, my neighbor also has one hand. I see him outside mowing his lawn or driving. It isn't a big deal being born without a limb because they will learn to do things with the one hand. They aren't losing it later in life so nothing seems more difficult to them. Just the norm. Baseball may require a prosthetic but not all 8 year olds play baseball. I would rather my child be independent rather than being dependent on a hand. Unless the child wants it. The story is a bit exaggerated. Having one hand isn't a big deal. Look up Jessica cox. She has no arms at all and has no prosthetics and is completely independent. As far as appearances go I understand wanting to be normal but it is something that makes you;you.

  3. I was born without my left hand, and I am right now getting an electronic prosthesis. I am happier than I've been in entire life for that.

  4. i was born with no hand and i just got a robotic hand! thank the lord!god bless you all!👏👏👏✌

  5. I know amber they ask but you have be prepared to answer. The same thing happens with my son Nathan he was born missing his whole right arm in 2005, now he is 13 years old. People always ask or stare at him but he is very confident about himself.

  6. My baby is also like amber.. where do I get treatment for this artificial hand? I too want my baby to see happy like amber.. he is now 2 months older.. when do we fix hand for him..

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