TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Getting to wear heels again...it's something Theresa Neubeaur will soon get to do, after a long time.
"To be able to touch something that is so cutting edge, is an exciting thought" expressed Neubeaur.
Monday, she became the second person in Florida and 15th person in the nation to get a hydraulic microprocessor foot and ankle, which will allow her to wear different shoes, and heel heights. Representatives from the company that designed it came to town to help with installation.
"It's a articulating ankle, it also has motion forward and backward, with a microprocessor gyroscope and accelerometer on board, so what that means is the foot always knows where it is in space," explains Jeremy Hines, the product specialist with Ottobock. "If it's going up a hill, down a hill, if it's stopped, should it be locked, and how much resistance it has to the foot going flat to the ground or how much resistance it has coming over the foot. And it's measuring all this at one hundred times a second."
Theresa's previous prosthetic was not flexible. This new one will allow her to walk better.
According to John Fredrick, a certified orthotist and prosthetist with Rehab Engineering, "I think initially she wanted something that could change heel heights, that was the first thing, but then she started complaining about how the foot was so stiff, and when she's going up and down hills and things, the prosthesis kind of controlled her, and so, you know, that's not right, you need to be controlling that."
She noticed the difference within minutes.
"It's just amazing, just an incredible difference. It feels more like normal" says Neubeaur.
It's her first steps to independence.
"To go grocery shopping, to be able to not have to carry an umbrella and a cane, and this and that and the next thing," Neubeaur says. "Let's go on vacation, walk through an airport, just things you don't think about as things that would stop you from doing things you normally do."
The foot and ankle combo weighs 3.1 pounds. She will need to charge the microprocessor every day, just as we charge our phones or computers.
As of now, it is not covered by insurance.