Tim Gobin

I’m not really good with dates except my wife’s birthday, my wedding anniversary, and my kids’ birthdays, but a date I’m not likely to forget is April 2, 2017. That was the day I lost the majority of my right thumb in what I would consider a crush/amputation accident.

What started out as a good day cutting wood, ended up with an ambulance ride and eventual surgery that evening. My youngest daughter and son-in-law were building a new home on a flag log, and in order to get to the property, the contractor had to construct a driveway through a stand of trees where they pushed them off to the side of the driveway.

This particular Sunday afternoon, we decided to go out and cut up some of the downed trees. We each had chair saws and were working on opposite sides of the tree pile. What I was doing was cutting some logs and then setting my saw down and pulling the logs out and setting them aside. I came around the pile and was working close to my son-in-law and continued doing the same thing. I set my saw down and was reaching in pulling logs out at the same time he was cutting a big tree towards the stump end and when it cut through, the weight of that tree pushed another tree in the pile down on my thumb that was resting on another tree. So basically, I was trapped between two big trees by my thumb. I was within arm’s length of my son-in-law and after getting his attention, we were trying to lift this tree off my thumb. What I thought was my thumb coming out, was actually my thumb coming off.

So basically, I pulled my thumb off. As I quickly assessed the situation, we moved towards his truck and he drove me to a local volunteer fire department and met the EMTs who evacuated me by ambulance to the nearest hospital. While I was going to the hospital, my son-in law had to go back and cut my thumb out and bring it to the hospital. With it being a Sunday, the ER doctor had to call in a hand surgeon, boy did I luck out getting one of the best in the area who was on call!

That was the night of my first surgery. Unfortunately, they couldn’t save any of the thumb and what was left was about one-third of my thumb. A week later when they removed the dressing, I realized the pickle I was in. Over the course of the next month, the remaining skin over the stump didn’t survive so they had to do a second surgery for a skin graph operation. I had a great care team including my surgeon and his team, an awesome hand therapist, and super support nurse/wife taking care of me. I would eventually have two additional surgeries to release the scar on my palm (Z-plasty).

During all this time, I did a lot of research on what possible prosthetic options were out there. My hand therapist had attended a workshop and provided me with a flier discussing a beta study on a new prosthetic device that was being designed by Naked Prosthetics. Although I was only six weeks post-op from my second surgery, we submitted an application for consideration for the study. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be selected but it was worth a try. As it turned out I wasn’t selected, but I never stopped researching this new product. I attended a fitting by a guy, Matt Finney, who was selected and was able to try his on. For the next year I debated pursuing the device or not.

The more time passed, I realized I could do a lot more with the aid of a device like this one. During this time, the device had gone to full production. So after a little bit of an insurance process, I have been able to get my new Naked Prosthetics ThumbDriver. Even after just two weeks, I can see a big improvement in the number of tasks I can now do again with my right hand. I can grasp a water bottle, turn the key in a car and turn up the radio, and am working on throwing a baseball to my grandsons. I look forward to getting back to a new normal as much as possible. I am a 61-year-old retired Army Officer and am now a high school Army JROTC teacher in Ohio.

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

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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 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

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Nick Armstrong | Ambassador

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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

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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

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Alycia Kerrigan-Mize | Agent

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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

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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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