WEST HARTFORD – Jonathan Metz, the local man who had his arm amputated after getting it stuck in his basement furnace for days, is now fitted with a unique prosthetic left arm.
Metz, 31, has a five-finger BeBionic limb made by British company RSLSteeper, the first of its kind in America fitted by Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics in Wethersfield.
On June 7, Metz was heating up his dinner in a microwave when he went downstairs for what he thought would be a routine fix of his boiler. His arm got stuck when he tried to reach down and retrieve a tool between two of the boiler fins. A couple days later, Metz was still inside the basement and in excruciating pain – his arm beginning to smell from flesh rot after being trapped for 18 hours – and began to hack off his own arm by fashioning a tourniquet around his shoulder.
He almost succeeded, until police finally arrived and took apart the boiler with a tool called a spreader that is used to normally rip the door off a car. He was taken to St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center where he underwent a 2 ½-hour muscle-flap surgery that saw the amputation of his arm.
During a recent appearance on NBC’s Today Show, Metz told host Matt Lauer that he feels “pretty good” since having the arm put on by team of seven doctors in Wethersfield.
“The technology is just astonishing,” said Metz, a financial manager at Travelers Property Casual Corp. He is getting married to his fiancée, Melissa Mowder, on November 13. The boiler that took his arm is now gone. Metz said on NBC that he can still feel the faint sense of his arm, but he is very happy with his bionic limb.
Metz’s new prosthetic was custom-tailored to his needs, and features five fingers that can trigger speeds, grip force and grip patterns. The technology utilizes smart software and wireless technology, according to Hanger Orthopedic.
Scott Elner, of St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, said Metz wants to return to work soon.
Metz told Lauer that he still has his dark days, but the new limb has given him “a lot of optimism.”Tags: amputated, Hanger Prosthetics, Jonathan Metz, prosthetic, RSL Steeper