She'd Still Rather Have the Arm, But the $6.7M Will Help

$6.7m award will make life easier, but is no substitute for arm lost in botched injection
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2009 10:21 AM CST
Diana Levine is interviewed at her home in Marshfield, Vt., Wednesday, March 4, 2009.    (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
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(Newser) – Millions of dollars and a landmark Supreme Court victory is great—"The fact that the justice system worked, it's pretty impressive"—but it's still no substitute for a right arm, musician Diana Levine tells the AP. Levine, whose arm was amputated in 2000 after she developed gangrene from a Wyeth anti-nausea drug, was awarded $6.7 million yesterday. She has long struggled with the loss of her livelihood and the challenges of life with only one hand.

"Nobody, nobody understands what it's like to just operate with one hand," said Levine, who lives alone in rural Vermont. "Everything you do requires two hands, even when you think you only need one." Levine, who broke down in tears of joy when she heard the ruling, plans to adapt her home and get a new prosthetic with the money—as well as work her way out of depression.