Welcome, my name is Keiron McCammon and these are my musings.
I lost his left arm, below the elbow, after being badly electrocuted as a result of a near fatal paragliding accident in Colombia, South America in 2006; I unfortunately collided with power lines as I was coming in to land.
I count myself fortunate to have survived and have been determined ever since to get on with my active lifestyle despite my amputation. It took over 15 surgeries and 2 months in hospital involving skin grafts for my right leg (that was also badly burned) and a muscle flap from my left leg to help cover the remaining stump of my left arm, before I finally got back home to San Francisco. Despite this, within 3 months of the accident I was back to work fulltime at the Internet startup that I’d co-founder a year early (Kaboodle, Inc.).
Since then I’ve been getting on with life, I love to snow board and scuba dive and I even re-learned to play guitar left-handed. In 2008 I took up endurance sports and completed my first triathlon. In 2009 I came in first-in-class at the Lavaman Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii and was training for my first half Ironman in October of that year when a bike accident resulted in a broken collar-bone and shattered elbow just two weeks before my race.
Another surgery, lots of plates and screws and 3 months of rest and I was back at it again. I started training in earnest in 2010 to complete 10 events in 10 months to raise $10,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, including a 140.6-mile Ironman triathlon, which I completed in November 2010. Since then I’ve completed numerous half Ironman triathlons, marathons, half marathons, century bike rides and more.
Read your article in the SF Chronicle this AM and wondered if you knew about Dragon Naturally Speaking, a software package that will do your typing for you. All you need to do is speak into a microphone and it will do the rest. It sounds like you’re doing very well without it, but I thought you might like to try it out. Another similar package is called ViaVoice. Good luck on your continued amazing recovery!
I read the article in the SF paper yesterday and was very impressed. My thought was to share with you what an impact you had on me, then I realized that I am probably having a similar impact on people, in my way. Isn’t it wonderful. I wish you well on your journey. Please use your gift to do good things.
I too lost my left hand in an accident and I am lucky to be right-hand dominant. As a trained pyrotechnician and having done numerous public fireworks displays, you might think nothing could happen…not so. It has been 18 years for me now and I have never met another amputee who uses the grip prehensor terminal device I have used all this time. I find it to be quite useful, although I find myself wearing a prosthetic device less every day. However, the device does permit me to pursue some of the things I like to do more easily than without. I have followed the cadaver hand transplants for several years now and am encouraged by the results. Because vanity places a distant second to function, I look forward to the day the procedure is perfected and commercially available. I will continue to follow your web site and hope life provides all the joy for your it has for me…both before and after amputation.
I recently listened to one of the TED talks (I’m pretty sure it was Dan Gilbert) about how the brain “synthesizes happiness”.
I thought you’d be interested in a quote where he says studies have found that, so long as at least 3 months have passed since a major trauma, there is no statistical difference in people’s happiness- if they were generally happy before, they continued to be so, and vice versa. Fascinating.
Just read your story in the chronicle. You are simply a winner. Your ability to maintain a positive outlook on life is inspiring. There is no doubt that you will go on to accomplish great things.
This is Aravind, Robert’s friend from Versant. I just learnt about your blog from that SF Chronicle article and was just blown away by your courage and commitment. You are a great inspiration for everybody and I sincerely hope you succeed in all your endeavors.
You might have lost one hand.But as long as you adorn this attitude of yours,you will be happy:-)
I’m David Gow inventor of the ilimb hand from Touch Bionics. I like your site and your approach. Hope you get to try one of our hands soon. Maybe see you at ISPO Vancouver?
I lost my left hand in a car accident while out on a date from a Catholic boarding college many years ago.. I’ve lived my whole life trying to pretend it didn’t happen,
Its only been lately that I have let myself feel sorry for myself,and a voice screams in my head, “Noone ever knew how hard everything was for me.” I was thrilled to find this site where I can hear from other “single-handed”.
Keiron… oh my god I came into work today (I now live in Sydney Australia) and decided to Google you.. god knows why, I guess it bothered me that we had lost touch… Imagine my surprise when I finally got the spelling of your name right and saw what an amazing journey you have been on, until I saw your picture I thought I had the wrong person!!! what an amazing journey you have been on personally, professionally the works!! HOLY….
I cant believe it..I was back in the UK a few weeks ago, having emigrated here from the UK 2 years ago and you know what? My parents have now got a house in Somerset, I had to pick up my partner from Exeter Airport and I decided to take a sentimental journey and go to Westholme and explore the University we went too all those years ago.. wow what memories.. (much to tell you on that score) which is why, now that I am back in Sydney I decided to finally find you.. OH My GOD!! Im so glad you and Kerry are so well, it seems ages I saw you both in San Fran and my god I am in awe of what you have been through and how you have pulled through. Im thrilled for you both and would really love it if you could get in touch at the e mail above, my news is nowhere near as spectacular.. but guess what I finally learned to dive…………………………….when in Australia….
Take care and get in touch soon. David
Mary, you’re not alone and I wish you the best as you now come to terms with your loss. You might want to checkout the Stumps ‘R Us website,( http://www.stumps.org/ ) which will put you in contact with lots of different amputees.
David, great to be back in touch!
I would love to get in contact with you re: adaptations to a one-handed lifestyle. I am currently enrolled in an Industrial Design Program at SFSU, and have been interested in housewares design for one-handed operation (similar to the Chef’n Pepperball) because one my roommates lost the use of his left arm in a motorcycle accident 3 years ago. Please contact me if you are interested in allowing me to interview you regarding changes and challenges in your daily routine. Thanks, and great blog!
keithrypka (at) gmail (dot) com
Hi, just ran across your blog while looking for a new stroller. I was born without a left hand and have always done everything without gadgets or a prosthesis (type 55 words a minute, drive a stick shift, water ski, crochet). I know it’s different when you lose a limb and I see the benefit of one-handed products more and more as I take care of my two daughters, but you can do a lot with one hand, an elbow, shoulders, knees and even toes that make everyday tasks easier. Sounds like you are doing great and I wish you the best. Take care, Melissa S.
Thought you might like this one for your website!
I’m Andi from Bali, I’m The new Kaboodlers from Bali! =D
I just want to say, You are very awesome, although you was get accindent, and your… but I believe, GOD have Good plan with you, SO BE SPIRIT!!! sorry if my english not good, I still to studying.. Peace from Bali… Andi-emozzen
AMAZING MAN! Your story is so inspiring. I followed your link through Manish, who I heard speaking on a TIE video. I heard that many folks still have a feeeling about this “ghost arm”. Do you still feel it? I am very curious. I do a lot of yoga and yoga is all about the melding mind body and spirit, but the physical aspect is a major force, alignment of the body. I wonder how things would be impacted if you tried to do yoga. I do iyengar style, which is very specific about alignment of the body.
Hi Keiron – I’d always wondered what happened to you, my ol’diving buddy! Exeter Uni seems a long time ago – lots has happened and much has changed! Fantastic to see your blogg and to hear you and Kerry are so happy. You must both have seen some very dark days over the past few years. But you always were a special person and faced everything with a smile. I truly hope your recovering and the adjustments you have both had to make, get easier with each day. Your name sake – Kieran – is now 11 and has a younger brother called Finn. Moved back to Exeter last year. Great to see the place again. Please get in touch via the email – would love to hear from you and catch up with all the news. Em
Cullen was an amazing guy before his accident – no surprise he is amazing now
I am a 7th grader in need of an interview with a bionic limb patient for a writing final. Please email me back.
i started my own blog here:
take care, wolf
Otto Bock released a new hook:
MovoHook 2Grip, part #10A80
Will be out in the next catalog (probably 2009).
We had previously identified and troubleshooted the problems that this hook fixes.
What an amazing blog you have here. Thanks for sharing with me.
I recieved an email from you via Stumps r us. My brother in law is having his operation tomorrow to remove both his hands, you are an inspiration to our family after reading your blog you have given our family such hope!
If you are interested there are some tips regarding bass guitar play.
First left handed sample:
I got myself a second hand Vester ‘tradition line’ jazz bass guitar. E-guitars are nice but it is always drum and bass that really set the groove…
So here we go with a first samples:
http://www.swisswuff.ch/sounds/vesterbassndrum3.mp3 (extended drumkit)
(The bass is really way down low so use good audio to check these out)
Wolf, so I finally got an electric guitar, makes it a bit easier for me than my acoustic!
Keiron, its been a long time but bumped into Dazza the other day and he told me about what happened but I didn’t quite believe it until I visited your blog.
What’s even more shocking is how quickly you have got on with life – you make it look like it never happened . Good on you and it looks like you are quite an inspiration for many other people.
Would be good to catch up with you and Kerry if you ever get a chance in that busy looking life of yours. Otherwise, all the very best to both of you.
Hugh, great to hear from you, definitely stay in touch, it’s been a long time! I don’t have a reply email for you so can’t drop you a line, send me an email at: mail (at) keironmccammon.com.
Happy New Years!!!!
Happy New Years!!!!
love your story a lot
When we know you we love you more than before, every thing is always good to you
Just read your story! It’s awesome! You are really brave
I just want to know, do you use an I-LIMB Skin?
Céline, I use the silicon/translucent glove, I haven’t tried the more realistic, skin-looking cosmesis myself, I did get a chance to look at one of their standard ones and it was pretty good. Maybe something I’ll try at some point.
Thanks for your answer, and I’m sorry belated answer.
I actually make a work for school for my exam (baccalauréat) on the I-Limb Hand.
My friends and I are working on this subject since december. We finally choose to create a web site in french n the I-Limb Hand because there is a few information in french.
May I ask you some more questions?
Did you try any others solutions before the I-Limb Hand?
Was it long and dificult for you to get used to your I-Limb Hand?
Did you have phantom limb and wa
and was the I-Limb hand a good solution for them?
Thanks for your answers and sorry for my English (It’s maybe not really good)
Hello my name is Lyndsey and my husbands name is Mitchel. Mitchel was hurt in a garage door accident in January of 2009 which has unfortunatley left him him with a left arm that doesnt work at all. He is considering having his arm amputated just below the elbow same as yours. Is there any advice good or bad that comes along with your experience in having an ilimb hand? Anything you would have done different? Any advice in your process that could possibly make this a tad bit esier for a newcomer?
Hi Keiron! thanks for you mail and for all your anwers!
We have finish our work and your help was really important.
Your blog is amazing! Good Luck
I just came across your blog today. I’ve read through several of your entries. I am particularly interested in your experience learning to use your new i_limb prosthesis. I was born without a right hand (but still right handed – go figure). I’ve worn the old fashioned hook all of my life (for 50 years now). I have a myo-electric hand but it uses the old style hand – very useless! I recently came across the i_limb products and was amazed!!
Unfortunately, I can’t begin to afford it. I’m hoping that my insurance will agree to pay for it. With the i_limb, I could actually use it every day.
Thanks for sharing your experience. All the best to you.
Your story is incredible and inspirational! I have a quick question about your blog, would you mind emailing me when you get a chance?
Notify me of new posts by email.
Mount Kilimanjaro, Empire State Building Run-up & New York City Marathon
Help me raise $10,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation to celebrate still being alive 10 years after my near-fatal accident