Generous donor helps Julie Dombo get new hands

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It has been a year and a half since a robbery, turned shooting left a Derby woman, a quadruple amputee.

It has been an uphill battle for Julie Dombo as she has continues to recover.

However, thanks to some generous donors, she’s getting a new lease on life.

She met Mark Holden, with Koch Industries, back in October.

They both spoke at a Wichita Crime Commission Annual Award Dinner in October, where Dombo received the Citizen Hero of the Year Award.

Flash forward to Monday and Holden and his wife, Louise, gave Dombo an early Christmas gift, a new set of hands.

“I am shocked, they came out with the boxes and I’m like why do you have those touch bionic boxes, and they said Merry Christmas, we bought your hands,” said Dombo.

Dombo had been learning to use the prosthetic hands since May, but they only being loaned to her.

So the Holden’s cut a $260,000 check, so Dombo could have the hands as her very own.

Angela Hull, an Occupational Therapist with Via Christi, has been working with Dombo for over a year.

Hull says she had to travel to Ohio to get training on how to teach Dombo to use her new hands.

“Just learning how to use her prosthesis, she has a lot of different options, she can move the wrist, rotate the wrist, use different grasp patterns,” said Hull.

Dombo participated in her first physical therapy session today with Hull, since her new hands officially became hers.

She practiced opening cabinet doors, picking up several kitchen utensils and other activities she use to do every day.

“They give me some freedom, I can start doing some normal, day-to-day living things, that I wasn’t able to do,” said Dombo.

With the same spirit and smile she’s always had, Dombo says she’s ready to tackle this experience, head on.

“It’s all a new, learning adventure, and I’m up for it,” said Dombo.

Dombo say learning to use her new hands comes with some frustrations.

She says they are heavy, weighing two pounds a piece, so she can only wear them for about an hour at a time.

Dombo says she will continue to have weekly, one hour therapy sessions with Hull, to learn how to do other daily activities with her new hands.