She may be the only dolphin to lose her tail and survive. Now her progress in the water is helping amputees on land.
Read the full transcript »
Melissa Medley: Winter the dolphin doesn't realize it, but she is a role model. She lost her tail to a crab trap nearly three years ago. She beat the odds and not only survived but is thriving, thanks to a prosthetic tail. The latest model allows her to swim while protecting her spine from injury. Abby Stone: And so by using this prosthetic she is able to move in a natural way, the way dolphins are intended to move through the water. Melissa Medley: From water to land, Winter is helping humans too. The new rubber like gel developed to keep the dolphin's tale secure underwater is working well for active amputees like prosthetic designer Dan Strzempka. Dan Strzempka: Either golfing, working, the perspiration was always an issue. They asked me why don't you go ahead and try it on yourself, just thinking it as sure I'll try it, and give you some feedback. It ended up vastly improving my lifestyle as far as keeping the leg on. Melissa Medley: Winter's progress not only inspire science but the people who need it. Brandon lost his leg in a boating accident and now works with the miracle mammal. Brandon Saunders: I felt like we had something in common, because we both - our accident was happened in water and how we both had prosthetic legs. Melissa Medley: A working relationship that's benefiting a new generation of amputees. I am Melissa Medley reporting.