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Claudia heard about a new-cutting edge mechanical arm. With relentless determination, she was accepted into a special study through the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and fitted with the $4 million arm—making her the first real-life bionic woman!

In order for Claudia's bionic arm to function, doctors had to perform a procedure that literally tricks Claudia's brain into thinking that her arm is still attached. Doctors reattached the nerves in Claudia's shoulder that were once connected to her amputated arm to her chest muscle. Electrodes connected to the bionic arm are then positioned over the areas of her chest to detect impulses from her muscles. "When I think that I want my hand to open or close or my elbow to move, it flexes a different muscle now."

Now, Claudia can put on makeup, fold her laundry, cook...almost anything with her new arm. "It's not comfortable to sleep in," Claudia says. "I can put it on and take it off just like I do a coat."
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FROM: The Secret Language of Babies
Published on September 23, 2008

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