Very cool article on Jason Koger, the double amputee that works on the upcoming Hookman episode. His story and how they used his prosthetics in filming. Pretty darn inspiring stuff!
Not sure who originally found the article, I’m coming in late on it but I found it first on Hawaii Five-0 Australia’s Facebook page. So do me a favor and if you have Facebook, head over there and hit that •Like• button! Mahalo!
Nephew of L-40 retiree is inspiration to many
WHEN PRODUCERS OF the new Hawaii Five-O series needed someone with bionic hands for a remake of the 1973 episode “Hookman” last year, they turned to Jason Koger, the nephew of David Koger, a retired member of Local 40 (Elizabethtown, Ky.).
Jason, 33, lost both arms below the elbow following a 2008 four-wheeler accident involving a downed electrical wire. The near-fatal accident left him with a pair of mechanical hooks as well as a set of advanced bionic hands that allow finger movement.
Five-O producers had in mind something specific — not just double bionic hands but someone who could use them well enough to aim a rifle or pick up a coffee cup.
Jason could do both. A former union pipefitter who hails from an extended family of union tradesmen, Jason is an avid outdoorsman. He continues to hunt deer and turkey, and has learned to use his teeth to hold the bow string when archery hunting.
Following preliminary interviews and tests, Jason traveled to Hawaii to film the “Hookman” episode late last year.
“They filmed my arms and hands doing different things, but not my face,” he said (although he does appear as an extra exiting the post office as Five-O enters).
“The main villain for the episode is Peter Weller, who starred in ‘Robocop,’” Jason continued. In the Five-O remake, Weller is out for revenge, blaming the police for the loss of his hands.
Jason said that in one scene, he stands behind Weller and extends his prosthetic arms forward. “On film, it looks like my arms belong to Weller’s body.”
The episode airs Feb. 4 at 9:00 p.m. central time on CBS. Features and background information about the episode will be available with the DVD version.
David Koger, who lives just a few miles from Jason and has close ties with him, accompanied his nephew to Hawaii for some of the filming. “He’s just an inspiration to all of us,” David said. “Everyone on the Five-O set was blown away by how quickly and how well he could perform. They really liked Jason, and they were just fascinated with what he could do with his hands.”
Jason said he has turned his misfortune into something positive. When a new amputee is admitted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville (where his own surgery was performed), Jason is alerted by the hospital and drives two hours to the facility to visit with the patient as a volunteer. He shows the amputee what he can do with his artificial limbs and explains how he has carried on with his life. He also gives voluntary talks to amputee groups.”
Jason’s experience with the Hawaii Five-O series has brought him new friends with the cast and crew, who stay in touch with him, he said. He added that the maker of his bionic hands, Touch Bionics, was so excited about their product appearing in the Five-O episode that they are giving him a free pair of their fifth generation “i-limb ultra” prosthetic hands.
Jason lives with his wife, Jenny, and their three children in Owensboro, Ky. He maintains a website (www.jasonkoger.com) and says he is happy to talk with others about amputation and prosthetic limbs.