Maine man undergoes groundbreaking surgery in Massachusetts

BOSTON (WHDH) - A first of its kind surgery may help a man missing his leg to feel it once again.

If successful, the surgery will enable him to perform complex actions.

He’ll be able to feel sensation by allowing his brain to interact with a robotic prosthetic.

Jim Ewing, 52-year-old Falmouth, Maine resident is such a daring rock climbing enthusiast, that he was the first to scale some spots.

In 2014, he fell 50 feet during a climb in the Cayman Islands and shattered his ankle.

“I had extensive nerve damage in my foot, which made it very painful to put on or remove my socks.  Walking barefoot anywhere was excruciating,” said Ewing.

The Engineer decided to have his lower leg amputated and be the first patient to take part in an experimental procedure at Brigham & Women’s Hospital that would actually allow him to sense his prosthetic leg.

During surgery, doctors preserved nerve endings.

Jim said, with the support of his family, the decision to remove the lower part of his leg was easy.

He even started climbing soon after the surgery this past summer.

Sensors, which will be implanted in his leg next spring, will communicate with this prosthetic designed by a team at MIT.

Jim Ewing, a man who jokes he “fell” into this situation, has taken the first steps for other patients.

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