Teen Who Lost Arm to Gator Gets Prosthetic

By ABC News

Sep 10, 2012 8:18am

ABC News’ Daisha Riley and Seni Tienabeso report:

The Florida teen who lost his arm when he was attacked by an 11-foot alligator has been fitted with a replacement prosthetic limb.

Kaleb “Fred” Langdale , 17, was fitted with the arm Sept. 5 by technicians at a Florida Hanger Clinic, which provides prosthetics and orthotics nationwide. The prosthesis detects movement in Fred’s forearm and responds,  allowing him to perform numerous functions, including gripping cups, buttoning his pants, and even clamping onto something as fragile as a Frito chip.

Langdale’s prosthesis was donated jointly by Hanger and by Inner Wheel, a non-profit organization that provides myo-electric prosthetic technology to those who are 18 and under.

During a ride on his airboat, the teen demonstrated his new arm for ABC News. He pilots the boat one-handed, which is the same way he drives a car.

The new high school senior took his rifle along, because gators remain a threat, but he’s undeterred. He’s even gone swimming again.

The attack happened on July 9, when Langdale and his friends were swimming in the Caloosahatchee River in Moore Haven, Fla.  The reptile bit his arm and dragged him underwater.

He managed to break free but was grabbed again, and made the decision to pull away and leave the lower part of his right arm behind.

While Langdale was being treated at the hospital, authorities caught and killed the alligator, retrieved the teen’s arm and took it to the hospital, but too much time had elapsed and it could not be reattached.

Speaking from his hospital bed just a few days after the attack, the teen said he was “glad” the creature had targeted him instead of one of his friends, “because I don’t think they would have done the same thing and got out of it.

“I’m just happy that I’m still alive… I could care less about the arm,” he added.

 

SHOWS:
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus