Aidan Welch

Every person has a unique story, and every life is a narrative that unfolds over time, complete with its twists and turns, tragedies and triumphs. Just as a play or show has a beginning, middle, and end, so does life with each stage of development bringing new challenges and opportunities for growth.

Aidan was working in Los Angeles as a scenic carpenter, creating and maintaining sets that provided the backdrop for different performances and productions. “I have been working in the theater industry for ten years and made the transition to a touring scenic carpenter five years ago.” He has been involved in many theater productions including the Tony Award-winning musical, “Rent”, and drama “Doubt: A Parable.”

November 1, 2019 

Like any typical workday, Aidan was creating components for a piece of scenery using a fold-away table saw, commonly used on-site for its portable nature. “I was making a cut and didn’t realize the riving knife had been removed, immediately pulling my hand and cutting my index finger,” says Aidan. Everything happened so fast; within the following hour, he was being tended to by a team of nurses and surgeons next door at UCLA.

“I never felt that afraid of recovery.” 

After a few months of rest and recovery, Aidan was finally getting back into his rhythm. It was during this time that he learned about Naked Prosthetics. “When my mom first told me about Naked Prosthetics, I was skeptical. I didn’t believe that it would give me a lot of satisfaction.” Despite his initial thoughts, finding a prosthetic solution piqued Aidan’s curiosity. He began his research and got connected with Sandra Bross and Associates in Calabasas, CA.  

Just when he thought it was all behind him, fate had other plans, and another surgery was required. A natural athlete and avid rock climber, Aidan firmly believed that he would be able to bounce back quickly despite losing a portion of his index finger. He was tenacious and strict about the regimen needed to help regain the strength of his affected hand. 

One of his biggest goals was to return to climbing as soon as he physically could. Starting with sand and sugar granules, he worked his way up to tougher and grittier textures to alleviate the sensitivity on his digits. 

Five months after his follow-up surgery, Aidan received his Naked Prosthetics device, a PIPDriver in our hydro-dipped carbon coating. “I was so happy! I was surprised with how well it fit. I spent minutes tapping between the prosthetics and my regular finger.” Aidan drove home wearing his PIPDriver, ready to start the next chapter of his adventure. 

 Adapting and Moving Forward 

Despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic, Aidan’s focus on his goals remained intact. He began rock climbing again and went back to college full-time. He did everything that could help his recovery both physically and mentally. “The device helped me become more intentional with my movements. It kept me moving my index finger more, which also helped increase my range of motion.” 

It has been three years since Aidan received his PIPDriver and he has done an incredible job nurturing his recovery. He shares tasks that require finer movements and precision, like typing, had come back almost naturally. “I was back to how I was before the accident. I didn’t have to make major adaptations of relearning finger placement.”  

Providing his sound fingers with additional support, grip, and protection, Aidan uses his device to carry tools and materials at work every day. Not only has he been able to return to his vocation and do activities he once loved doing, he also started learning to surf.  

Aidan’s advice to someone who’s going through recovery: 

“Focus on it as much and only as necessary, it doesn’t define you. It’s not who you are. It will get better, even if you don’t think so right now. You are a person with many different facets, and this is just one of them.” 

Whether we are reading someone else’s story or living our own, it is up to us to find our place in the narrative. When Aidan’s not home in Salt Lake City, he is on tour, exploring different places around the world with a theater or show production; taking every opportunity to make the most of every moment. 

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Jeanie McGarvey | Advocate

Jeanie is based out of Ohio where she wears four PIPDrivers, three MCPDrivers, and one ThumbDriver.

Read her story here.

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Jaime Perkins | Ambassador

Jaime Perkins injured four of his fingers while working with a jointer in his workshop in 2020. A well-respected builder, he joins Naked Prosthetics with his own audience of over 606,000 YouTube channel subscribers for Perkins Builder Brothers, a company started by his architect father, that he shares with his brother, Erik. Jaime joined as a NPChampion Ambassador after experiencing for himself the functionality afforded by the MCPDrivers. Jaime lives in North Carolina with his wife Jaime and their three children.

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Matt Finney | Ambassador

At age 36, Matt lost several digits due to vascular occlusion. After a several-year struggle that led him down a dark and troubled path, Matt found his way to Naked Prosthetics to become the first to wear each of the three custom, body-driven devices together: one PIPDriverTM, one MCPDriverTM, and one ThumbDriverTM. Because of his directness and candor, Matt has become a popular addition to conferences and speaking engagements that Naked Prosthetics participates in. Matt now owns his own successful concrete finishing business, something he says wouldn’t have been possible without the technology behind his devices.

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Moises Aramburo | Ambassador

Moises spends his time traveling between California and Mexico. In the Summer of 2012, Moises and his friend took their truck out after a tropical storm in Mexico to assess the local damage. While towing a vehicle stuck in the flood, they decided to try something new – boogie boarding on the flooded streets. An accident with the rope caused four of his fingers on his right hand to be torn off. Moises wears a four-digit GripLock finger with socketing from the Ossur team.

GLF Designed + Manufactured by Naked Prosthetics. Socket Fabrication by Hanger Clinic and Össur.

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Natasha Baggett | Ambassador

Natasha lost two of her fingers to a woodworking accident at home in 2019. A beef and poultry farmer, artist, and mother to five girls, Natasha wears two of our MCPDrivers and was a beta tester for our Conductive Tip and Rose Gold finish. Since her accident, she has devoted much of her time and energy to the amputee community, sharing her journey and helping other amputees find acceptance and purpose from within. For those reasons and more, Natasha is a welcome addition to the NPChampion Ambassador family and a warm and engaging advocate for the amputee community.

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Nick Armstrong | Ambassador

As a beta tester for Naked Prosthetics, Nick Armstrong was instrumental in the development of the MCPDriver. At the time Nick suffered a workplace injury in 2012 that left him with amputations on five of his fingers, prosthetic options that would allow him to get back to work as a welder and auto mechanic and back to taking care of his farm didn’t exist. In 2015 Naked Prosthetics began testing the MCPDriver, and Nick provided the necessary real-life testing and feedback to assure the devices’ performance in harsh environments. Nick lives in Illinois and speaks alongside NP regularly to groups about his story and the functionality and confidence his devices provide.

Trevor Thibodeux | Ambassador

Born and raised in Louisiana, Trevor is a calm soul with a southern charm that draws you in. Trevor’s left hand was injured on the job in late 2020, repairing a machine that feeds, cuts, and seals velcro. While fixing the machine the operator started up the machine and the blade took his middle and ring finger, cutting the tendon on his index finger, and crushing his pinkie. As our newest NPChampion Ambassador, he wears two MCPDrivers and is motivated by the thought of helping someone like himself no longer be afraid of life.

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Ashley Umbaugh | Advocate

A mother to two young children, it is important for her to not miss a thing. Outdoor enthusiast and whim taker, Ashley, was trying something new, riding a motorcycle. In the Summer of 2021 she joined her husband on the road when she lost control of the bike. In an attempt to save her leg from being crushed, she threw her hand to rest on the band which sucked her fingers into the sprocket and amputated her middle finger. Her device has given her more than function, it has given her hope. With the help of her MCPDriver, she wants to spread hope to everyone in this community.

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John Powers | Advocate

John is an artist based out of New York. He wears one ThumbDriver and one MCPDriver.

Read his story here.

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Kenneth Brunke | Advocate

Father of four, Marine Corps Veteran, and woodworker, Ken, lost his left thumb, index finger, ring and pinkie finger in a table saw accident mid 2021. Ken’s three-digit MCPDriver and ThumbDriver has allowed him to turn his woodworking skills from a hobby into a full business. His unabashed willingness to share his story through humor and charm are a welcome addition to the NPChampions program.

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Michael Stanton | Advocate

Michael brings energy and positivity to every conversation he has and is sure to leave you with a smile. A splinter was all it took. Early 2019 Michael was working when a small piece of wood lodged itself into his hand. Unfortunately, after removing it the wound became infected and required his right thumb to be amputated. With the help of his ThumbDriver, Michael hasn’t let this slow him down!

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Stephanie Brassard | Advocate

Stephanie lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband and is passionate about inspiring other amputees to know that losing fingers isn’t the end and that they can overcome challenges that they may face. Self proclaimed “accident prone” sawmill worker and physical trainer, Stephanie, wasn’t surprised when she crushed her fingers. In November, 2019 she went to grease a machine when she noticed it was still on. Before she could pull away it had grabbed onto her hand, removing her left thumb and pointer finger. Stephanie wears one MCPDriver and a ThumbDriver. She wants to help inspire other amputees to know that losing fingers is not the end and that they too can overcome challenges.

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Tammy Stolle | Advocate

Tammy is a court reporter in South Dakota and wears one MCPDriver.

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Alycia Kerrigan-Mize | Agent

College student and competitive swimmer Alycia lost a majority of her pinkie finger in an accident at only 15 years old. With the use of her PIPDriver, she’s rediscovered her confidence and uses her platforms to share her story and inspire others.

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John Hillard | Agent

Retired Navy Veteran, John is settled in Noblesville, Indiana. After losing his thumb in a circular saw accident, he regained functionality with his ThumbDriver and is back to creating beautiful woodworking pieces.

John Thompson | Agent

John wears two MCPDrivers. Born and raised in Brandon, Mississippi, he lives with his wife and daughter and enjoys staying active outdoors.

Nelisiwe Nxumalo | Agent

Nelisiwe wears two MCPDrivers. An adventurous and captivating woman, she travels the world sharing snaps along the way.

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Darrel Comeau | Ambassador

Darrel joins us from Alberta, Canada after losing much of his index finger in a workplace accident late in 2017. He was checking a fit up for one of his crew members when an improperly tacked steel beam dropped on his finger. A jack of many trades, Darrel is not only a construction site foreman but also a gifted photographer. He wears an MCPDriver. As some of his biggest fans, Naked Prosthetics looks forward to highlighting his work and his story.

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