September 20, 2021

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France’s first electronic woman, Bricelle Deborah, wants “Super Jimmy” from Tarn to “change the image of disability”

“ All the smiles, pretty blue eye make-up, white pleated dress and Dr. Martins Basquiat, Bricelle Deborah assumes her femininity and rocky side. All this in the midst of his paintings, in his workshop that was set up in an old discotheque that became his home, at the gates of Albi (Tarn). “I’ve always liked to dress well. Sarcasm is a form of spin to alter the image of disability.” His works, both expressive and painstaking, developed along with his state of mind. “There is more and more humor in my paintings, than lightness. But my drawings are not decorative, there are messages. I allow myself to be guided by my feelings, without knowing where I am going, like an explorer.”

She is trying her art as well as her handicap. That’s how Precile Deborah became France’s first robot, sort of “Super Jimmy,” a nod to the 1970s American series, a niche she admires. It breaks the bleak picture of disability. It’s an incredible feat. “

Technology that can be controlled with thought

However, the acceptance of the prosthesis took time. After a desperate gesture linked to major depression – the young woman threw herself under a metro train in Paris in 2006 – Precile Deborah had to amputate both her legs and her right arm. Then after years of operation and rehabilitation with traditional lower limb prostheses. For the arm, it is a cosmetic foam prosthesis.

“But after six years, I had problems with my left arm and started thinking about the future, to age independently for as long as possible. The prostheses and technology allowed me to maintain and restore balance. In 2013, Precil Deborah accepted an electrical prosthesis on her right arm to be Qualified for the Thought Controlled Electronic Arm.In November 2018, she adopted this 3-kilogram jewel of technology that would take more than a year and a half to master. “I managed to do 360 degrees with this hand. I do more than healthy people,” kidding.

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‘Eliminate prejudices’

In a book published this month by Sandrine Cohen, “Une vie à inventer” (Albin Michel, 224 pages, 17.90 €), she looks back at the path she took to accept her disability, her new body, and the rebuilding of herself. A long and demanding journey, which you hope to help others. “The disability has forced me to go back to myself, to the basics, and not to rely on the gaze of others. All this is not magic, there are difficulties all the time. Every morning, wearing the prostheses takes effort,” she admits.

Inspired by life force and the energy it unleashes, Precile Deborah has found a balance through her family, her art and her sport. After competitive swimming and surfing, this sturdy cape turned to scuba diving and horseback riding. With the help of her husband, the chair of the manual sport committee in Tarn, she will get into badminton. “We have to break prejudices, give another picture of disability. We can have a family, sexuality, kids … It’s not the end of the world.”