Manami Ito
November 24, 2019 12:08 PM   Subscribe

In 2004, Japanese nursing student Manami Ito lost her right arm in a traffic accident. While coming to terms with this life-changing event, she decided to put her dreams on hold. However, when she went to pick up her new artificial arm at a facility, she noticed people with similar disabilities playing basketball. This inspiring sight motivated Ito to overcome her obstacles and set new goals for herself. Since the accident, she has become a nurse (the first in Japan to have a prosthetic), a world-renowned Paralympian swimmer, and a one-armed violinist. posted by growabrain (4 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Japan is also far ahead of North America in its prosthesis technology. A friend of mine uses prosthetic legs from above the knees, and was hoping that his next trip to Japan would be long enough to have his legs replaced there, as the options are much better than he can access in the US.
posted by jb at 12:27 PM on November 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

*wince* That's one hell of an inspiration porn-tastic framing, there.

That being said, Ito's achievements really are amazing. My spouse is currently in nursing school and has some hearing impairment, and nursing is incredibly inflexible with respect to disabilities, much more so than medical school for doctors is. This is in part because nurses do so much more in the way of physical handling of patients than doctors do, but it does mean I'm way more impressed that she got her way through nursing school even after her amputation. It does not surprise me that she's the first nurse in Japan to have a prosthesis.

I've also been startled by how little training in handling prostheses and assistative tech that my spouse has gotten during their classwork. Nurses do so much hands-on work with people who use mobility and sensory assistative tech; it should be obvious that nursing instruction should include basic things like "treat a prosthesis like a part of a person's body" and "always ask before touching a person's hearing aids," but that isn't so. It's been wild, especially given that the program my spouse is in is apparently the best-regarded program among all the local hospitals.
posted by sciatrix at 12:27 PM on November 24, 2019 [13 favorites]

Yeah, I also dislike the framing. I've particularly come to really dislike the word, "overcome" as living with disability is less about overcoming obstacles and more about adapting to circumstances.

That said, the things she has achieved are all very impressive and certainly notable.

Side note relating to sciatrix's comment on how doctors/nurses should treat prothesese. I really get annoyed when doctors/audiologists try to put my hearing aids back in for me as it's so much easier if I just do it myself. They always seem to do it really awkwardly and then it's uncomfortable in my ear. Just let me do it! I've been doing it multiple times a day for three decades!
posted by acidnova at 1:01 PM on November 24, 2019 [7 favorites]

Inspiration porn isn't always inspiration porn - sometimes it is actual inspiration like it was tonight for me and Mr. Lizard, because he has recently had his leg amputated and I am still trying to convince him of (and find examples to support) the fact that life can and will include all of the same things he loves to do once he's been fitted for his new leg.
posted by Lizard at 8:17 PM on November 24, 2019 [9 favorites]

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