ICYMI: Meet the Man With the Pentagon’s ‘Luke Skywalker Arm’

Johnny Matheny of Port Richey, Florida, visited the Defense Department’s courtyard on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, to show off a prosthetic limb developed in part by DARPA. (Photo by Bryant Jordan/Military.com)Johnny Matheny of Port Richey, Florida, visited the Defense Department’s courtyard on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, to show off a prosthetic limb developed in part by DARPA. (Photo by Bryant Jordan/Military.com)

In case you missed it, stop whatever you’re doing on this gloomy Friday morning (at least in the Washington, D.C., metro region) and check out my colleague Bryant Jordan’s story about the incredible work the Pentagon’s research arm — the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA — is doing in the field of prosthetics.

I’ve written in the past about how Jan Scheuermann, a quadriplegic and 55-year-old mother of two, in 2012 agreed to let surgeons implant electrodes on her brain to control a robotic arm and fly an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter simulator using nothing but her thoughts. I’ve also reported on the agency’s programs to restore memories.

Now meet Johnny Matheny of Port Richey, Florida, who last year became the first person in the U.S. to undergo a medical procedure called osseointegration, the direct surgical attachment of a prosthesis to the body. He attended DARPA’s annual Demo Day on Wednesday in the Pentagon courtyard to “shake hands” with attendees and talk about the procedure — which seems to hold so much promise for disabled veterans and others.

Read the full story at Military.com and check out another one of Bryant’s photos below. (The guy in the background at right is Justin Sanchez, a program manager in DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office in Arlington, Virginia, who oversees some of the agency’s prosthetics research.)

Johnny Matheny of Port Richey, Florida, visited the Defense Department’s courtyard on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, to show off a prosthetic limb funded by DARPA. (Photo by Bryant Jordan/Military.com)

Johnny Matheny of Port Richey, Florida, visited the Defense Department’s courtyard on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, to show off a prosthetic limb funded by DARPA. (Photo by Bryant Jordan/Military.com)

About the Author

Brendan McGarry
Brendan McGarry is the managing editor of Military.com. He can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.