DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Trotwood-Madison’s star linebacker Issiah Evans has spent the past year and a half without his right hand, but that is about to change thanks to a bionic prosthetic.
Evans lost part of his arm in a firework accident in 2022, and though it has been a challenge, he has been working to get back.
“It was kind of difficult because, like, I am usually stronger than everybody,” Evans said. “So, I could just grab the person and throw them, but now I have to like, form tackle, and so I missed a couple of tackles. Now I’m in the groove, and I feel good.”
On the field, Evans has been labeled “the one hand bandit” and just three games into his senior season, he already has 28 tackles, along with multiple college offers. Off the field, he is a stellar student, taking advanced placement classes and maintaining a 4.2 GPA.
After losing his arm, he got a prosthetic arm with health insurance, but he says the functionality was extremely limited, the skin tone did not match, and it was uncomfortable to wear.
His family saw his struggles and reached out to Open Bionics.
“Not only are we helping to improve and amputees’ quality of life through providing them another arm, but the unique thing about open bionics is, we allow them to have those customizable 3D printed covers that they can use to express their personalities,” Lucas Slusher, patient coordinator and community manager at Open Bionics, said.
The bionic arm works by reacting to skin. It has different settings for different grips to help do tasks a basic prosthetic can’t.
“I look forward with the new arm to be able to tie my shoes and to grab a cup, and you know, I look forward to be able to multitask again,” Evans said.
The arm has a hefty price tag, costing around $16,000, but Open Bionics has a foundation to help Evans to pay for the cost.
“When we determined that Isaiah was qualified for the hero arm and was facing some funding challenges, we agreed to set him up with a campaign video and help him to reach the goal that he needs,” Slusher said.
Evans won’t be allowed to play football with the bionic arm, but everywhere else, he says it will give him back a sense of normalcy.
“I’m thankful for everyone who wants to continue to help me get back to my normal life even though it’ll never be the same,” he said.
The next step is to go to Colorado to be fitted for his bionic arm, which he plans to do once football season ends.
To support Evans’ journey to his new bionic arm, you can donate here.