Saskatchewan Abilities Council




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Ken explores the possibilities of high-tech prostheses

Kendale Dosselman’s story illustrates how access to appropriate services and up-to-date technology can lead to greater independence and quality of life—even after traumatic injury.

Ken lives with his young family in Rose Valley. In January 2015, Ken was helping a friend build an elk fence when the equipment came into contact with an overhead power line. Ken was rushed to hospital with severe electrical burns. Surgeons at St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon spent five hours trying to save his hands, but the damage was too severe. Ken lost both arms below the elbow to amputation.

Barely a month later, Ken was back home trying to adjust to life without his hands. “Ken was initially fit with conventional prostheses in February 2015. His determination to regain his independence has been amazing. He gave his complete effort to re-learn common tasks, wearing and using his prostheses continuously,” says Lyle Cassidy, Certified Prosthetist at the Council.

Based on his demonstrated effort and desire, his ongoing progress, and in consultation with specialists from the Saskatoon Health Region, Ken was identified as an excellent candidate for myoelectric prostheses. These high-tech appliances allow maximum function while reducing stress on joints. The prostheses use the latest technology, including electrically-operated hands with moving fingers or electrically-operated hooks. The hands provide more fine motor control for daily living tasks, while the hooks offer durability and ruggedness for work environments.

“We fit Ken with bilateral myo prostheses in October 2015,” Lyle says. “The devices help support his overall goal of being as functional and independent as possible. He still faces many years of effort and learning, but he continues to work very hard to maximize his functionality.”

With the support of his wife Jody, and his own determination, Ken has mastered many of the tasks he took for granted before the accident. Learning to drive again was a major milestone. It has been a long journey to this point, but with the continued support of his family, his community and the Council, Ken is regaining his independence.

"Ultimately, it is Ken’s own determination that will allow him to succeed.”
– Lyle Cassidy, Certified Prosthetist