His face might look familiar, but undoubtedly, it’s the voice you’ll recognize. As an accomplished and award-winning audiobook narrator, Jonathan Cowley has recorded over 60 audiobooks, voiced countless commercials and appeared in movies and television shows.
Today, he is an actor, public speaker, travel management executive, cancer survivor and amputee living a life without limitations.
Here is his story.
Aches and pains are par for the course for any young, on-the-go parent. So, in early 2013 when Jonathan noticed an odd-shaped lump on his right hand, he and his physician weren’t terribly concerned. After all, keeping up with an active 2-year old is bound to leave bumps and bruises. However, months later, while Jonathan was enjoying a much needed and long-awaited vacation cruise with his family, something changed. What was once uncomfortable, suddenly became painful and discolored.
Doctor visits, medical tests and a biopsy followed. Within a few short weeks, Jonathan learned he had a rare form of cancer - so rare that only 20 cases per year are diagnosed in the United States. Three surgeries followed, but eventually, there was only one appropriate course of action. Five months upon his return from the family vacation, his right hand was amputated above the wrist.
Jonathan was resolute in his rehabilitation and recovery process and was quickly fitted with a prosthetic hand. The device was ill-fitting and uncomfortable. Jonathan did his best to adapt but considered eliminating the prosthetic device entirely.
“I convinced myself that I could get by without a prosthesis and just use my residual limb.”
Soon, he discovered an alternative– The i-Limb® Quantum myoelectric, full-hand prosthetic device. The i-Limb hand uses muscle triggers to control five independently articulating digits.
“After I put it on for the first time, I looked in the mirror. My wife was standing near me and I remember saying, 'I'm whole again.'”
Encouraged by friends and family, Jonathan dove headfirst into physical therapy, exercise and positive thinking. Sharing his story with other cancer survivors became a salve and bolstered his spirits. But ultimately, it was his day-to-day family life as a husband and father that impacted his outlook the most. He remains an in-demand voice narrator and his acting career has flourished. Today, as a proud father of two, Jonathan lives a life without limitations.
“Simple things that most people take for granted.Preparing breakfast for my family.Tying my daughter’s shoelaces.Helping the kids off to school.Doing my work.My prosthetic is such a part of me that, oftentimes, when strolling with my daughter, she will hold it instead of my real hand.”