Overcome Disability and Live a Happy Life. The Poignant Story of a Courageous Italian Guy

Overcome Disability

Last Updated on 13 December 2023

This is an Italian story that will help you overcome your disability and live a happy life. This is the story of an Italian guy who turned loss into opportunity. This is the story of Michele Specchiale, an Italian boy who is about to be admitted in the Guinness World Records. Michele, indeed, lost the left arm for a work accident. If, for many people, life is hard without an arm, it is wonderful and successful for Michele. How? Read his story to discover that.

Michele: from Disabled to Successful Bionic DJ

Losing everything in a while, and getting up soon after. With strength and courage. While he talks about his story, Michele shows great energy. Over twenty years ago, a work accident took away his arm. But Michele, who since his childhood has always lived to work as a musician, never lost his courage and worked hard, until he has become the first bionic DJ in the world.

Michele, what happened in that day?

I don’t want to remember that damned day. I never mention it. I was on my truck, I was working, when I have had a bad accident. I fell onto the ground and my arm got literally ripped. I immediately noticed to having lost it.

And Then? What happened afterward?

I felt very bad. Very much! I spent a week in the hospital where I wondered why all this was happened to me. A musician! But I am a tough guy. For me, impossible things must become possible and so – I got up soon after. I obtained a prosthesis, started the rehabilitation, and made incredible steps forward right away.

It has been from this stage you decided to be a DJ?

I have always had the passion for that. But, after the accident, when I realized that I would never play wind instruments again, I started cultivating my initial passion. And so, I was reborn. Today, I am not only a DJ, but a producer, I have my band that produces my music. Indeed, you can also call me the bionic DJ producer.

How are you able to play disco – dance and mix the record with a prosthesis?

I have a special one created by technicians just for me. I can play music thanks a system which transmits impulses to the muscles. Initially, it was not easy to use the prosthesis to play the console of a DJ. You need a lot of exercise and training, to become confident with your prosthesis. indeed, this artificial device has not the same sensitivity of fingers. You must learn, hence, to move and raise it properly like the human arm. As said, I worked hard to get confident with my prosthesis and use it as a natural and normal part of my body. To get able to do it, you need training and a lot of tenacity.

Before resuming the interview with the beautiful story of Michele, I would like to inform you about the features of the prosthesis which definitively changed the life of this Italian DJ.

Myoelectric-controlled prostheses

Myoelectric – controlled prostheses are high performing technologies that leverage the electric properties of the muscles. The term “myoelectric” is just referred to the electric signals that naturally come from our muscles. Myoelectric prostheses combine functions and a natural appearance. They are, indeed, designed to mime anatomy and functions of arms and hands. For upper arm amputation, these prostheses have components that allow shoulder control and elbow function.

Thanks to muscle signals, myoelectric prostheses allow to perform the normal functions of arms; elbow can flex, hands can hold a suitcase, wrists can rotate and bend, thumbs can change orientation and take several positions. These are only a few of the functions that allowed Michele to move forward and get the life he has today.

The myoelectric prosthesis of Michele is made of fiberglass, carbon and titanium and has a weight of about 3 kgs. It is one among the most developed prostheses in Italy, implemented thanks to INAIL, The National Italian Institute for the Work Accident Insurance.

myoelectric prosthesis

Michele has his bionic arm, where he can apply different models of hands. “In my suitcase – he said during our interview on the phone – I have the hand to play music, the one to work, the one to drive. Every hand allows me to perform several tasks”.

Here is how Michele lives a normal and wonderful life

Thanks to his highly developed myoelectric prosthesis, Michele can drive his car. Indeed, he drives for many kilometers from the North to the South of Italy. He has driven from the INAIL prosthetic center of Budrio, in Bologna, to Padula, in the South of Italy, where he lives with her wife Daniela, and up to Sicily, where Michele’s parents live. He went to every Italian city to talk about his story and help disabled people overcome disability and start living again.

He is the only DJ in the world who can move the plate in the console to make Italy dance. For his capabilities, this brave Italian young man is about to be included in the Guinness World Record. Just think that to obtain this global award, Michele managed to tie the shoelaces in less than 60 seconds.

The idea of the Guinness World Record happened by chance – Michele said again – it was like a joke. A disabled man watched a video of mine on YouTube, reached me online and asked me to teach him to fasten shoelaces. Since my mission is to help disabled people, I thought a greater idea which had to serve as an inspiration for all those who lost arms like me. When I submitted myself to the Guinness World Record, I had to pass a test: tie and thread shoelaces with an only hand, keeping the other one on the floor. I kept the right arm on the ground; then, with my bionic hand, I performed the test in 47 seconds, only. Today, I received the confirmation I successfully passed it!”.

In this pathway, you have always had your wife alongside you

Yes, always. She is my warrior. I met her during my rehabilitation at the prosthetic center in Budrio (Bologna). It was love at first sight for me.

the bionic family

When I saw her, I thought: I’ll marry this girl! And this happened! She also wears a couple of prostheses, because she lost both her legs for a car accident when she was 17 years old. And so, today, we are a beautiful bionic family.

You are an Instagram celebrity, now, and have over 20,000 followers. Why this idea?

I and my wife realized that we feel well when we share our experience with others. Disability help is a gift for us. And Instagram is just this for me: don’t be ashamed of disability and play with it joyfully. We have an important mission: we want disabled people to overcome the amputation trauma, looking at us and following our example. Today, we wear colorful, tattooed, and psychedelic prostheses, such as the lights of a discotheque. We are proud of our disability and want to show it. We hope other people like us learn to accept their protheses as we do.

How you faced the time of pandemic?

How it is deserves to be faced, with caution and following the rules: face masks, for me, my wife and my two beloved daughters, social distancing, and a lot of strength. If there is a thing that my experience taught me it is that humans can face everything, even the most awful tragedy. Strength lies in us, we have only to pull it out and follow it.

Before pandemic, I and my wife went to the hospitals to encourage those who was hurt by a sudden disability. We were reached by them or by their parents. When we got called, we went. Disabled patients felt encouraged by our visit. Through us, they were pushed to react and overcome their trauma. Today, we keep doing the same through online tutorials to respect the rule of the social distance.

Have you ever desired to come back to the life you had before the accident?

Do you want to know the truth? Never! I never desired to come backward. It was thanks to the accident I and Daniela felt in love and built a life founded on the love for us and for others. My life is perfect so as it is. I do the job of my dreams, I have a beautiful family, two wonderful daughters and all together devote our life to teach how to face disability and live a happy life. I think nothing else is more important than this.

Along with his wife Daniela Vegliante, the two 11 and 4-year-old daughters, Giulia and Martina, Michele formed a real super family. Today, they are a great example of unconditional love for those who need inspiration for their life.

 A dream for the future?

I would like to show my disability in a talent show. I am the only bionic DJ in the world. Apart my personal desires, I want to highlight my above-mentioned mission, namely help disabled people accept their condition through what happened to me. You must know that beyond disability there is a world.

There is a psychological side to consider, a new life to retrieve and if you don’t have testimonials, it is hard to move on. In my experience, I noticed that disabled people don’t trust doctors, psychologists, and nursers. They only trust people like them and are extremely encouraged when they see I and my wife are happy. With our story, we want to help disabled people accept their own loss and be happy like us.

Conclusion

Yes, Michele is the only bionic DJ in the world. It is also one of the a few guys who showed an amazing inner strength. As a DJ, his nickname is Dj Miky Bionic. You can find him on Instagram. His story seems uncommon, but thanks to his willpower and commitment, it is becoming a brilliant witness of resilience and acceptance. Michele is also a member of several associations, such as the Paralympic Sport Committee, the Bionic People Association that gathers famous and successful disabled people, such as top models, musicians, painters, designers.

As Michele taught us, disability affects several fields, but it is not a limitation. It is only a mental concept. Often, it is only a prejudice everybody can overcome. There is nothing we can’t do in our life, we have only to believe in ourselves. The story of the bionic DJ is also a brilliant example of advanced Italian technology developed to increase autonomy in disabled people. Even a myoelectric prosthesis can be a tool for health and wellness. When it works, especially on courageous guys like Dj Miky, disability heals and life comes to shine again.


Author: Rosalba Mancuso
Rosalba Mancuso is a medical journalist, an international content writer credited at the University of Washington and a blogger born in Sicily. She is popular for founding four websites in English. On Modernhealthinfo.com, Rosalba writes well researched and detailed health articles backed by her experience as a medical writer for pharma companies and as a PR assistant for a clinical analysis laboratory. She is also a member of the AHCJ, American Association of Health Care Journalists and Center for Excellence in Health Journalism.

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