Arm--Amputation; Amputation--rehabilitation; Psychic trauma in adolescence--Treatment; Pain--Treatment; Pain--Treatment; Miracles


The purpose of this study was to gain an in-depth perspective on the experience of replantation of a traumatically amputated upper extremity and the subsequent rehabilitation process through the point of view of a 15 year old patient, his parents, his sister, and the treating Certified Hand Therapist (CHT). As an occupational therapist it is important to understand the family relationships, support networks, and the role of the patient in the family. The therapist is in a unique position to provide treatment and emotional support that the patient and family need after experiencing trauma. This case study appraisal using a qualitative design included an exploration of the hand therapy chart (including the surgical report) and audio recorded interviews with the patient, each parent separately, the patient’s sister, and the CHT. A three interview structure for in-depth phenomenological interviewing was used with the patient. The results of the chart review explain the surgical procedures, the therapeutic interventions, and the process of healing. The results of the thematic analysis of the interviews revealed three salient themes: pain (i.e. emotional and physical), transformation (i.e. transformation of self and roles), and miracles (i.e. surviving, retention of the limb, and retention of the family). The findings suggest that coping after a traumatic accident is a family process and all of the family members will experience this process differently.

First Advisor

Lucretia Berg

Date of Completion

Spring 2010

Degree Type







Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT)

Date of Award

Spring 2010


Occupational Therapy


University of Puget Sound