Who is Dennis Aabo Sørensen

The choice fell on 36 year old Dennis Aabo Sørensen from Aalborg, the third largest city in denmark with a population of 200,000. it is a city located 400 km. and a 4 hour drive from Copenhagen. Married, father of 3 children, Denis owns a family interior house-painting business.Ten minutes after midnight on new Year’s eve 2004 a firecracker went off in his left hand. Dennis immediately realised how serious the accident was. That night he underwent the amputation of his limb.

Why Dennis

Agreeing to donate several weeks of his life to undergo two operations in one month (an implant and the removal of electrodes involving two nerves from the upper limb) with general anesthesia; being available, just 48 hours after the implant, for a team of doctors and engineers to carry out a long list of tests, exercises and trials; all of which in a foreign country, without guarantee the experimentation would be successful and without any personal gain: it suffices to bear all this in mind to realise that the success of an experimental programme such as LifeHand 2 did not solely rely on technology and the know-how of the researchers involved, but mainly on the choice of the right patient, out of the several who arrived from different countries, candidates for this kind of test, who were hoping to be accepted by a working group capable of sooner or later solving their problem.

Dennis came through the selection because he had met all the correct psychological, physical and personal criteria. A patient had to be selected devoid of cognitive or psychological problems who had had an amputation close enough to the hand of the upper limb. The patient also had to be young enough, although at the same time sufficiently mature to give his consent and to manage the stress and fatigue of an intense schedule, including daily stimulation and exercise sessions. The candidate also needed to have a lively intelligence and a proactive attitude, capable of learning quickly and able to carry out carefully and precisely all the set tasks and to communicate correctly (in english) the sensations felt along with any other information that could be useful to the team. A healthy constitution was obviously crucial together with a physique strong enough to sustain two operations under total anaesthetic in the space of 30 days.