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Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals

Nebraska trucker with nerve damage considers this adaptive technology a ‘game changer’

July 19, 2017

Madonna Occupational Therapist Raegan Hain helps spinal cord injury survivor Keith Rader with a new piece of technology.

Keith Rader just can’t wait to get on the road again.

“I am a truck driver. I could do it, but I could not do it correctly. So I had to improvise, and just do things very odd," said Keith Rader, spinal cord injury survivor.

Keith says his odd ways of doing simple tasks like driving is the result of permanent nerve damage in his right hand stemming from a car crash in 2004. This day, he’s getting function back in his right hand by being fitted for a special new glove.    

“It’s a game changer. Even the littlest things, like picking up a pen, pencil, Magic Marker. And I’m excited to see if I can write my name again," said Keith. 

From penmanship to driving, the SaeboGlove uses stretchy bands that allow patients who’ve suffered from neurological damage to open and close their fingers and thumbs for grasping.

"We found the SaeboGlove to be a good fit for him because it passively put him in extension and then he could actively flex and then rest allowing his hand to open and extend in order for him to be able to lift things up or to be able to manage a manual transmission. So there were a lot of different things that he was able to do with the use of the glove that you or I would be able to do on a regular basis,” said Raegan Hain, Keith's occupational therapist. 

“From being able to use two hands driving down the road, zipping up a coat, grabbing a bottle of pop, then not being able to do all of that, was just a total change around. I basically had to pry things into my hand so I could drive," said Keith. 

After this glove fitting, Keith says he’s ready for whatever challenge lies ahead.

“It’s rewarding to what they can teach me here, and what they have taught me, to overcome and adapt is actually what I was taught," said Keith.