I can’t believe I haven’t done a blog post about prosthetics yet.
Prosthetics were never really on my mind until two years ago. I work as a flight attendant, and as such, I meet lots of amazing people with lots of unique disabilities. (I use that word very loosely, since as you’ll see below, they’re perfectly able, and some literally outperform those of us with fully organic bodies!)
One girl made a difference for me, though. She was maybe 11 years old, and had a prosthetic leg. And although she preboarded, she definitely didn’t need my help getting situated on the airplane. She sat in the front row with her mom, and she was the happiest, most enthusiastic kid I’ve ever met. Though the details of our conversation have faded, my feeling of sheer awe remains vivid.
When I began planning a new book in May 2016, I knew I had to incorporate that girl. She wasn’t a side character. She needed to be front and center. So I crafted a story about a teenage girl who lost her leg in a dragon attack, but is still determined to join the dragon hunters of her world.
That book became HARBINGER. We’re going on submission in the next few months. 🙂
I’m not an amputee. This book isn’t #ownvoices. I don’t know anyone personally who has a prosthetic. My research consists of hours upon hours of youtube videos, TED Talks, articles on modern advances and prosthetic history alike.
I’m just an author who’s been exposed to a world I never even considered before that little girl… and I have to admit, I’m obsessed. I honestly don’t think there’s a field more fascinating or inspirational than the world of prosthetics. My main character, Kyra, takes no shit and works hard for everything she achieves.
I based Kyra off of Hugh Herr, Aimee Mullins, Christina Stephens, Aimee Copeland, Kaitlyn Dobrow, and SO many others. Their stories are incredible. Their capabilities surpass all expectations. They’re amazing, and I’m so excited to share a few of their videos with you guys!
DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of these videos. Links for them are below. 😀
The advances that Hugh Herr is making in prosthetics are stunning. I had no idea we were broaching such a scientific age. Makes the stuff in my sci-fi books seem like child’s play! I was legit crying by the end of this video…
Amputee OT (Christina Stephens)
This woman is SUCH a valuable resource from the research side of things. Oh my gosh, my character Kyra would be nowhere without her videos. I probably spent every spare minute for a week taking notes on her words of wisdom.
As with most TED talks (see Hugh Herr, just above), Aimee is a gem. Her insight is thought-provoking and comments on how able-bodied people regard amputees, while simultaneously turning our perceptions upside-down. Absolutely amazing.
And to finalize my list, we have probably the most inspirational woman I’ve ever seen. I know those are big shoes to fill after the other contenders on this list, but holy hell, you guys. This woman is a quadriplegic, and she still has a more positive outlook on life than me and almost everyone else I know. Everything on her youtube channel is worth your time. <3
There are SO many more, but these are some of my favorites!! If these amazing people can’t inspire you to achieve your dreams in spite of adversity, no one can. 😛
How do you found inspiration for your novels? What kind of challenges have you overcome to get where you are? Let me know in the comments below, or, as always, feel free to DM / email me! I’d love to know your thoughts! 😀