The day before Hand Made founder Braden Leonard lost his right hand to flesh-eating bacteria, he was an active athlete and a veteran fireman. It was on a regular trip mountain biking when he was thrown from his bike, hit a tree and ended up with a thorn in his hand. He chalked it up to a rough day on the trails and headed home.
But what initially seemed like a small accident landed Braden in a medically induced coma in a matter of hours. The thorn had infected his bloodstream with necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating bacteria), which was doing quick work of shutting his body down. He was given a 30% chance of survival. If they amputated his hand, it might stem the infection, but there were no promises.
Luckily, Braden beat the odds and woke up a week later. He lost his right hand, his job and his sense of normalcy, but he had his life.
At this point in the story, many amputees adapt their life to include their prosthetic, but Braden insisted on finding something that would fit his active lifestyle. He tried (and broke) many devices before realizing he wouldn’t find one to meet his demands–so he built one himself.
During this process, other engineers and athletes joined Braden’s project, and Team Hand Made was born. Today, they are innovating new ways to create stronger, better prosthetics using state-of-the-art technology.