16-year-old Hoover high student gets new "grasp" on life

      "I was right-handed," Haley Higdon said. "So, a lot of things changed."

      Imagine everything you're used to, suddenly, being taken away.

      "I can't really write anymore that good," Higdon said. "I have to write with my left hand. I used to play softball and I don't play softball anymore."

      That's how 16-year-old Higdon feels. Only for her it's reality.

      A car crash back in January shattered two of her fingers on her right hand. Doctors tried reconstructive surgery to save what they could, but eventually they had to face facts...that Higdon's fingers were useless.

      She decided to amputate them.

      But now, after more than 10 months of trying to learn how to get along without her right hand...she's getting it back.

      Hanger Clinic, which is a company that specializes in prosthetics and orthotics has lended a helping hand.

      A computerized prosthetic hand is controlled by Higdon, simply by contracting muscles in her arm.

      "I'm pretty amazed by it," Higdon said.

      She's had it for two weeks and already is catching on.

      "I picked up the ball," she said. "I picked up a cup and I grabbed somebody's nose."

      And she can shake hands. Her mother, Judie Cummings, can't believe her progress.

      "I'm just totally amazed the things that she can do now," Cummings said. "She was pinching her brother's nose and she's picked up staples."

      It's the little things. Staples, pinching and even holding hands.

      "It feels good," Cummings said.

      Higdon feels good, too, getting a new grasp on life.

      "I feel like I'll get back to my normal life soon," Higdon said. "Hopefully, I will."

      Specialists at Hanger Clinic estimate the computerized prosthetic hand, as well as the cost of the surgeries, to be valued at more than $112,000. The tab was picked up by Inner Wheel, which is a non-profit organization.