logo
youtube.com/Good Morning America | twitter.com/wjrothman
youtube.com/Good Morning America | twitter.com/wjrothman

Man Who Lost His Arm to Cancer Plays Piano with Prosthesis in a Moving Video

Ayesha Muhammad
Nov 24, 2021
09:20 P.M.

A man who lost the lower part of his left arm to cancer became the first person to take home the world's most advanced Modular Prosthetic Limb designed by the John Hopkins Advanced Physics Laboratory.

Advertisement

Living with physical or emotional disabilities can be daunting. However, thanks to technological advancements and breakthroughs in modern science, people now have the option to use prosthetic limbs.

While advanced prosthetics allow for better functionality and movement, the overall results can vary for how efficiently a person can control these devices.

[Left] A picture of Johnny Matheny showing his prosthetic limb. [Right] Matheny playing the piano with his prosthetic limb. | Photo: YouTube.com/Good Morning America

[Left] A picture of Johnny Matheny showing his prosthetic limb. [Right] Matheny playing the piano with his prosthetic limb. | Photo: YouTube.com/Good Morning America

Advertisement

LIVING AS AN AMPUTEE

66-year-old Johnny Matheny, a bread sales and delivery man in Florida, lost his left arm to cancer in 2007. He's been living as an amputee since 2008. After his arm was amputated, he had to leave his job and change his lifestyle. Matheny shared:

“After the amputation, they [the doctors] deemed me cancer-free. At that time, I decided to pay my life forward (sic)."

The Florida man said he opted for a surgery called TMR or "Targeted Muscle Reinnervation." Matheny shared that although the nerve endings controlling his lower arm were cut off, they were still present and could be reused.

Advertisement
A picture of Johnny Matheny showing his prosthetic arm. | Photo: YouTube.com/Good Morning America

A picture of Johnny Matheny showing his prosthetic arm. | Photo: YouTube.com/Good Morning America

PROSTHETIC LIMB CONTROLLED BY ARMBAND

The nerve endings were then taken and re-implanted in muscles that were left in the stump. Talking about the prototype arm, Matheny further explained:

Advertisement

"They did five different re-enervations in my stump, and this allows me to work my hand, wrist and elbow."

Finally, a wearable Myo armband from Thalmic Labs replaced the single-use sticky electrical sensors attached to Matheny's arm stump. The wearable band was able to communicate with the prosthetic limb through Bluetooth.

Amputee Johnny Matheny pictured with researcher Luke Osborn. | Photo: YouTube.com/Good Morning America

Amputee Johnny Matheny pictured with researcher Luke Osborn. | Photo: YouTube.com/Good Morning America

Advertisement

LIFE WITH MPL

The Florida amputee said that the prosthetic limb controlled by Thalmic Labs was more comfortable than other prosthetics. Because his sons were in the army, the U.S. military funded his prototype arm's research and development costs.

Since then, Matheny has been working to help improve life not just for himself but also for other prosthetic users. This is why he teamed up with John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory to design more advanced prosthetics.

He also worked with researchers such as Luke Osborn to test the prosthetics' functionality. In 2018, Matheny became the first person to take home the world's most advanced Modular Prosthetic Limb (MPL) designed by the same institute.

Advertisement
Johnny Matheny playing the piano with his prosthetic limb. | Photo: YouTube.com/Good Morning America

Johnny Matheny playing the piano with his prosthetic limb. | Photo: YouTube.com/Good Morning America

LEARNING TO PLAY THE PIANO

Matheny used MPL to perform everyday activities. The findings and observations from his trial with the advanced prosthetic limb were published in the Journal of Neural Engineering. Bobby Arminger, the project manager for the study, revealed:

Advertisement

"He [Matheny] was able to customize the arm and learn to do the things he wanted—like playing the piano."

With time, Matheny began using the prosthetic limb to perform complex tasks, like playing the piano, as he could move individual fingers to strike the keys. Good Morning America shared a moving video of him handling the musical instrument like a pro.

Advertisement

Matheny, who never knew how to play the piano before, said it took him a year to learn his dad's favorite song and play it without mistakes. He can now play "Amazing Grace" excellently and wishes to contribute to designing better prosthetics.

Moreover, researcher Osborn shared that Matheny's experience with MPL is a breakthrough that would help them improve future technology and make lives easier for amputees.

info
Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Advertisement
info

The information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, and images contained on news.AmoMama.com, or available through news.AmoMama.com is for general information purposes only. news.AmoMama.com does not take responsibility for any action taken as a result of reading this article. Before undertaking any course of treatment please consult with your healthcare provider.

info

news.AmoMama.com does not support or promote any kind of violence, self-harm, or abusive behavior. We raise awareness about these issues to help potential victims seek professional counseling and prevent anyone from getting hurt. news.AmoMama.com speaks out against the above mentioned and news.AmoMama.com advocates for a healthy discussion about the instances of violence, abuse, sexual misconduct, animal cruelty, abuse etc. that benefits the victims. We also encourage everyone to report any crime incident they witness as soon as possible.

Related posts

Girl Takes Care of Old Man with Trembling Hands and Is Confused When He Sits at the Piano – Story of the Day

May 13, 2022

Oscar Isaac Hired His Younger Brother to Play His Body Double in 'Moon Knight' - Who Is Michael Benjamin Hernandez?

April 26, 2022

Twins Send Dad to Nursing Home, Learn He Left Inheritance to Janitor Who Is Their Carbon Copy – Story of the Day

February 13, 2022

Old Lady Adopts Lost Little Boy with Note in His Pocket, His Mother Returns after 13 Years – Story of the Day

March 25, 2022

Tyler Perry Was Broke Living in His Car - He Recalls in Tears That He Was Only 'Praying & Believing’

February 23, 2022

Disabled Orphan Boy Watches Rich Man’s Mansion across the Lake, the Man Sees Him and Approaches – Story of the Day

March 20, 2022

Homeless Man Who Left His Sister 38 Years Ago Returns to Her with an Old Box from Their Father – Story of the Day

April 07, 2022

Poor Guy Misses Chance to See His Mother Losing Plane Ticket, Kind Little Boy Restores His Hope – Story of the Day

February 16, 2022

Before Major Surgery Veteran Gives Nurse a Badge Begging to Find and Bring His Best Friend – Story of the Day

May 03, 2022

Little Boy Cries and Calls for Mom behind a Closed Door until Homeless Man Sneaks In — Story of the Day

April 09, 2022

Old Man Goes to Visit Daughter for His 80th Birthday, She Doesn't Let Him Enter Her House – Story of the Day

February 08, 2022

Taxi Driver Returns Lost Wallet with $1600, Receives Amount 100 Times More Months Later – Story of the Day

February 01, 2022

Rich Man Tests Son by Asking Him to Give His Huge Inheritance to an Orphanage – Story of the Day

February 02, 2022

Michael J Fox Kept His Illness a Secret for Years after His Wife of 3 Decades Cried about His Diagnosis

March 20, 2022