Captain Jason

The latest news on the recover of Jason after his injury in Iraq by an IED.


Snail Mail:

Cpt. Jason Scott
WRAMC Building 20
Mologne House Hotel #316
6900 Georgia Ave. NW
Washington DC 20307

Phone: 202 577 0092

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Jason's Day of Rest

It was cold and clear here in DC when I awoke. Jason had asked me to "be quiet" before I left for my Day of Recollection and spiritual direction with Rev. Bill Callahan of Quixote Center. He wanted to rest as we were planning an evening out for dinner and a play when Dennis Morajda our friend arrived from Chicago later in the day.

I returned about 3:30, and Jason prepared to head out to the China Town area of DC at 7th and H streets. Jason took the shirt with the "security tag" attached that we could not remove and we went to the store where he purchased it. As we entered through the security gate, the gate sounded the alarm! Now why didn't it sound when Jason left after he purchased the shirt? The perversity of technology!!! The clerk didn't ask for a receipt or proof that Jason purchased the shirt, he quickly removed the tag. Jason browsed for a few minutes; purchased a long sleeved, 1/2 zipper Underarmour shirt and we left.

This area of DC reminds us of Lincoln Park if you are familiar with Chicago, lots of folks on the street with a nice blend of shops and restaurants. We joined Dennis who was waiting for us and ate at the Matchbox restaurant immediately outside of Chinatown. The restaurant is only 15' wide. and was jam packed with patrons waiting for tables. We joined the cue and waited over 45 minutes for a table pushing our 7 PM date with the box office of the Senaca Theatre located a couple of blocks N. The food was excellent, each of us had a personal pizza (just like the ones we ate in Italy. Cooked in a brick oven) but for Dennis and Jason the best was a platter of 3 miniature hamburgers amid a huge pile of onion strips covered with tempura batter and deep fried. Truly the onion strips "were to die for." We finished dinner with time to spare and wended our way to the theater.

We entered the cafe/theater with the correct address but they said "No such play here, go next door." We went next door to a very narrow hall with steps leading up (red paper snake hanging along the steps up), no one there, no lights on. I tried the next door off the street--no, a band was setting up for their evening performance. Back to the restaurant and a guy with dreadlocks sitting at a table with a computer in front of him. He was the "box office" for the play. Dennis and Jason thought "We are in deep trouble." We had an iced coffee, discussing the situation with another disgruntled patron. She claimed this was a professional theatre and offered excellent plays. She had attended productions before and this had never happened. I thought, "Would be nice if we could find it as the Opening curtain time," was quickly approaching.

All of sudden "Box office guy" shouts, "Everyone here for the play, follow me!" We tell Jason please follow him as Jason needs a chair with space for his right leg stretch. Jason and I are waiting for our iced coffees which they serve in glasses but I think "Okay we will just take the glasses with us." We head next door first one to our left, in we go...the theater is as large as our room at Mologne! Holds 35 folks, we counted them, sitting on kitchen chairs. No place for Jason as the right side of the seating is enclosed by a wall. Jason does sit on the end of the row with his leg outstretched, sigh just as he did at Capitol steps. When I called for the tickets, the person assured me someone would meet us at 7 so Jason could be seated. Sigh...I can't win with theater seating for Jason!

Jason made the choice of the play earlier in the week as we planned for Dennis' visit. The set for The Lime Tree Bower consisted of a table with three chairs and a beer on it. On the wall behind a "Dublin door" with lion head knocker, painted green. The cast three brothers; one a high school student, one a college professor of philosophy and one who worked the pub with "Dad." The play consisted of monologues mostly about sexual exploits of the older brother and teh teen as he tried to become experienced. The development takes a dramatic twist laced with comedy as three brothers "begin to share the story" of the event that changes their lives. It is excellent play; Dennis and I liked the same character, Jason liked the Prof the best. We all agreed that we would recommend the play highly. It was a very nice Saturday evening out.

Please pray for the success of Jason's surgery for heteroptic ossification on Tuesday.

Day of Reflection:
Bill and I reflected on John 4, The Samaritan Woman at the Well. I reflected especially on
  • Living Water
  • We who sow and YHWH who reaps.
  • The woman's mission to the community and mine
  • The personal experience of God within.

It was a special blessing to be able to spend this time with Bill.


Anonymous Anne Carey said...

Capital News Service

LAUREL, Md. - Signing a credit card receipt, opening a door knob and typing on a keyboard are everyday activities that most people perform without a second thought. For Marine Capt. Jonathan Kuniholm those activities are arduous.

Kuniholm, 34, of Durham, N.C., lost most of his right forearm and hand to an improvised explosive device when his platoon was ambushed in Iraq on New Year's Day 2005. He has had a motorized prosthetic since April. He has three different hands that can be interchanged to do various tasks, but Kuniholm is not happy with the current level of technology.
"The human hand has (many) degrees of freedom," he said. "What we have right now basically has two."

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory aim to change that in the next four years. Work began this month on a $30.4 million defense contract to design and build the world's most advanced prosthetic arm.

The project aims to create a prosthetic with 22 ranges of motion that will mimic the movement of a natural limb and allow the user to have a sense of touch, temperature and spatial location. It also must fit the size constraints of a human arm and be capable of 18 hours of continuous operation.

Kuniholm, who is now working toward his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at Duke University, hopes to work on the project to advance current prosthetic technology.

"I'm an interested user, and I want something that closely duplicates the uses of the hand that I used to have," he said. "But I'm committed to doing it for everyone who has lost a limb."

The best current commercial prosthetics have as many as three ranges of motion: elbow, wrist and hand, according to Kraig Helberg, a prosthetist for C.D. Denison Orthotics & Prosthetics in Baltimore. The user can only perform one type of motion at a time, resulting in a movement that looks unnatural.

The university was awarded the competitive contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Defense Department's central research and development organization. The contract finances the first two years of the project, with a $24.4 million option for the next two years. More than 30 subcontractors from the United States and Europe have signed on to work with the project.

Current motorized prosthetics are controlled by myoelectric signals -- when the user flexes a muscle, an electronic signal on the skin is picked up by sensors causing the battery-powered motor to move the arm.

Helberg said many more people come to him wanting myoelectric prosthetics than actually end up getting them. He explains how different they are from a human arm and tries to fit each patient with a prosthetic that suits his or her needs.

"Not everybody who is an amputee is gadget-tolerant," Helberg said.

Project leader Stuart Harshbarger said because they are cumbersome to use, many people who have myoelectric prosthetics instead opt to use a traditional hook or a purely cosmetic prosthetic.

"The challenge is to build this advanced technical device that is actually usable, meets peoples' needs, is acceptable and people will use it," Harshbarger said.

The war in Iraq has given the Defense Department a vested interest in prosthetic technology. Better body armor and medical treatment are saving soldiers' lives, but many still lose limbs. According to an ABC News report, 9 percent of soldiers injured in Iraq died, compared to 24 percent in the Vietnam War and 30 percent in World War II. Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington has treated more than 300 soldiers who have lost limbs.

Research is being done on how the new devices will meet the requirements of the contract. One possibility the lab is studying involves operating the prosthetic with impulses received directly from the brain.

Harshbarger's team also is investigating the possibility of power sources other than batteries. Even with advances in rechargeable battery technology, there is still a fundamental limit to how much energy can be stored in them, Harshbarger said. One option involves using a catalyst and reactant such as hydrogen peroxide to create pressurized gas that powers the arm.

All of the options will be considered in the first two years, and a definitive plan for each subsystem will be presented to the Research Projects Agency. Harshbarger is certain the project will yield important discoveries, even if it is not optioned for the second two years.

"There'll be technologies at the end of year one that patients can actually use and benefit from," he said.

Harshbarger, who has worked in the lab for five years, said this is the most personally significant project he has ever worked on.

"There's no more compelling critical challenge than trying to restore functionality to people who have given their service to their country."

Monday, February 27, 2006 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Katy, Jason's mom said...

Thanks Anne,
I will read to Jason.
Hope you enjoy the blog.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 7:37:00 PM  

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