Local woman to undergo groundbreaking procedure after losing part of her arm to raccoon bite

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WESTLAKE, OH – It’s a day Melissa Loomis of Canton will never forget.

"My dogs got into a fight with a raccoon and I went to pull them off of the raccoon and it bit my arm. So it wasn't really a huge bite, to me it seemed like a superficial cut,” she recalls.

Loomis ended up going to the hospital to get the cut looked at, and it turned out to be much worse than she thought. She had a serious infection and the only way doctors were going to be able to get rid of it was by amputating the lower half of her right arm.

"They know for sure it was not rabies, but they did all sorts of cultures and they have no idea what it actually was,” said Loomis.

She has since recovered, but she’s there’s something she’s been wanting, a prosthetic arm. Now, she’s going to get one with the help of Dr. Ajay Seth and Advanced Arm Dynamics in Westlake. They’re teaming up to build an arm that’s so life like, she’ll actually be able to move it with her brain.

"We're pushing the envelope forward to let your brain move the prosthetic. Then with what we call the sensory part, that's what's going to give her the feeling,” explained Dr. Seth. “With goal being that I'll take a nerve that allows you to feel and put it on the skin and that will be hooked to her hand, so if you touch her index finger or her middle finger, our goal is for her to say you're touching my middle finger."

He said Loomis will go in for the experimental surgery next week, and if all goes well, she’ll eventually be fitted for the arm.

"If we can get this accomplished, it's going to help numerous war veterans, people who are coming over now with amputations. And we're going to do it right here in Canton, Ohio and hopefully this will not only be a groundbreaking surgery, but groundbreaking prosthetics,” he said.

To learn more about Dr. Seth, CLICK HERE.

To learn more about Advanced Arm Dynamics, CLICK HERE.

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