Georgia man becomes first bilateral amputee to get new feet - CBS46 News

Georgia man becomes first bilateral amputee to get newest bionic feet

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CARROLLTON, GA (CBS46) -

A Carrollton man has become the first bilateral amputee to receive world's newest bionic feet.

Edwin Powell recently became the first double below-knee amputee to receive the élan, the world's newest microprocessor-controlled prosthetic feet.

On Wednesday, Powell followed-up with Hanger Clinic prosthetist Todd Clay.

Powell was 19 when he came down with type two diabetes. Since then, the 48-year-old has lost his sight, the tips of his fingers, he's had kidney failure, and in 2005, he lost both legs.

"You've just got to adapt and move on. People have got all kind of problems they have to overcome," said Powell.

And Powell did overcome. He went back to college at the University of West Georgia, graduating with a degree in mass communications.

Late last year, Clay offered him a chance to try some cutting edge technology.

"I would say it's just a breakthrough in technology," said Clay.

They're $18,000 a piece, but for people like Powell, they are worth every penny.

"It's microprocessor controlled. I think that's what separates this feet from previous feet we've used. And what I mean by that is, it's got a computer inside of it that controls real-time resistance," said Clay.

The computer inside the foot links up with a program that Clay uses to adjust settings based on Powell's weight and walking style. The foot parts give and take, when Powell is on an incline.

Since being fit with the élan microprocessor-controlled feet, Powell said, "It has given me more of a natural movement. It causes me to use my knee more than with the last foot. I am making more of a natural motion. With the old feet, I couldn't do that. Man can't replace what you're born with, but this is getting pretty close."

The feet last about five years before they need to be replaced.

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