Fixing the 5%

An oversized poster of the Seinfeld character Kramer watches over Phil Rizzuto’s daily routine. When Rizzuto, named for the famous New York Yankees shortstop, swallows his 6 a.m. pills, Kramer is looming over him, looking quizzical. Same for the 9 a.m., noon, 6 p.m., and midnight doses, each fistful of pills placed in a carefully labeled Dixie cup. “I live on medication,” he says. Rizzuto’s daily life in Haverhill, Massachusetts, is a litany of challenges: His aides have to hoist his paralyzed legs from his bed to his motorized wheelchair and back again; keep the bag that collects his urine clean; tend to the gaping wound on his backside, which developed when he was left to lie still in bed

New Approach to Amputation Could Reduce Phantom Pain

People whose limbs have been amputated are often left with phantom sensations or pain in the missing appendage. Prosthetics don't feel anything like the real thing. And people with artificial limbs have to keep looking down, because they can’t feel where their artificial arm or leg is in space. MIT Media Lab professor Hugh Herr knows these problems all too well. A double-leg amputee from a climbing accident in high school, Herr has struggled with prosthetics his whole adult life. “I’m wearing two bionic legs,” says Herr, a biophysicist who co-directs the MIT Center for Extreme Bionics. “When my bionic ankles move, I have no feeling of that movement.” Now Herr and his colleagues have made an

About me

Cover COVID-19 

and patient safety

for USA Today.

Former long-time health/science

journalist, contributing to The

New York Times, The Washington Post, 

Scientific, and others. Journalism educator and book author.


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