The world is full of incredible sights, stories, and people. In fact, when you look around, there are some rather incredible people that live on this planet. Whether overcoming rare diseases or living a full life despite missing limbs, these cases are definitely amongst the most amazing and inspirational.
In India, a bot named Deepak Paswan was born with extra limbs. He had a grand total of four arms and four legs. When people looked at Deepak it appeared as though there was another person stuck in his stomach, and in a way, there was. He was born with a parasitic twin which resulted from a second fetus which didn’t fully develop and fused with Deepak in the womb.
Unsurprisingly, this “Octo-boy” was taunted and called names growing up. By the age of eight, doctors decided to operate on the boy and successfully removed the twin. Amazingly, Deepak now lives a completely normal life and even boats that he can run faster than his older brothers.
This is the case of an incredible little girl who ended up missing two of her limbs. Qian Hongyan was only four-years old when she lost both of her legs in a car accident. She grew up in a poor, rural area, having to improvise when it came to dealing with her disability. Qian learned to walk using her hands and used a basketball on her lower body to help balance herself. She quickly became known as the “Basketball Girl”. When she turned 10, she received artificial limbs to help her walk.
Along the way, she never stopped pushing herself. She joined a local swim club and began training four hours every day. The hard work paid off and Qian became a national champion in the Chinese National Paralympics Swimming competition. In fact, over the past few years, she’s won a few medals and only narrowly missed out on making it to the 2012 London Olympics. Her accomplishments despite her disability are not only uplifting but also makes our obstacles seem significant by comparison.
One of the key things humans use to identify with other humans in their face. After all, we recognize people by their faces, look at their face when we talk and stare into each other’s eyes. From the minute she was born, Juliana Wetmore was up against a whole different challenge. She suffers from Treacher Collins Syndrome which meant she was missing a lot of the bone structure in her face. In fact, she was missing 40% of her facial bones in total.
The result was that Juliana didn’t have a face even though the rest of her body and brain were totally fine. In addition to the shock experienced by her parents, the cruelty of the outside world quickly showed itself with nasty messages, including one social media post saying Juliana should have been euthanized. Nevertheless, Juliana, now a teenager, has fought on through 45 surgeries and will likely face more in the future. In spite of her disability, she goes to school and communicated with both friends and family by way of sign language.
Born with Caudal Regression Syndrome, Martin has no body from the pelvis downwards. However, even without legs he made the high school football team and left his mark on the field – often after tackling the opposing player.
In addition to his disability, Martin also faced obstacles from officials when they tried to remove him from the game because he wasn’t wearing the regulation cleats, thigh and knee pads. Once everyone came to their senses, the 3’1″ player was allowed back on the field and ended his senior season with 48 tackles.
There’s a good chance that if you’ve spent any time on the internet, you’ve come across an image of Mandy Sellars. When she was born, doctors were immediately worried because her legs were five times the normal size. Sellars suffered from a very rare genetic disorder which caused the skin, tissue, and bone in her legs to grow abnormally. The result is that her upper body is proportionally normal while her legs are quite large. In fact, her legs and feet alone were estimated, at one point, to have weighed as much as 210 pounds.
Several years ago, the growth of her legs led to an infection which required the partial amputation of her left leg. Amazingly, after the amputation, her left leg began to grow at a rapid rate. Within two years of the operation, the leg had grown to a meter in girth and was nearly too large for her prosthetic limb. She then started taking trial medication which has miraculously reduced the size of her legs to 150lbs. The doctors are unsure how much the medicine will reduce the size of her legs, yet Sellars remains hopeful and positive.
Our skin is our largest organ, and we’re often told we need to take care of it. That’s why our parents always covered us in a thick coat of sunscreen in the summertime, and why they cleaned and bandaged our cuts when we fell down. The parents of Jonathan Pitre pay special attention to their son’s skin because Jonathan suffers from a very rare condition. Born with Epidermolysis Bullosa, Jonathan has faced a life of pain and worry. That’s because this disease causes his skin to blister and peel with the slightest bit of friction or contact.
As you can imagine, having your skin blister and peel with only a little contact is bad enough without also having to worry about potential infection. The added worry in Jonathan’s case is that people with EB tend to develop aggressive skin cancer once they get into their 20’s. As a result, this brave kid is currently undergoing risky stem cell transplants with the hope it will reverse his condition and allow him to lead a normal and healthy life.
This Indian boy has often been referred to as having the largest hands possessed by anyone in the world. It is believed this condition was brought about by a disorder known as Macrodactyly. Nonetheless, as the years passed by this little boy’s hands continued to grow so big it made it hard for him to dress, feed, and generally take care of himself.
As an added negative, the superstitious people of Mohammad’s village taunted him and branded him a devil child. It got so bad that he was even denied entry to the local school for fear he might scare the other children. Thankfully, he has recently started undergoing surgeries to reduce the size and increase the functionality of his hands.
Claudio Viera De Oliveira
Imagine being born unable to move your head or limbs. Now imagine also seeing the world upside down because your head was positioned far different from anyone else. Incredibly, when Claudio Viera De Oliveira was born, the doctors advised his mother to simply let him pass away by starving him intentionally. This seemingly horrible medical advice stemmed from the fact that Claudio was not like any other “normal” baby. Born with Arthrogryposis, this Brazilian’s joints were fused together and his head was positioned upside down and facing backward.
Fortunately, Claudio’s mother did not take the advice and she raised him despite his condition. As he grew, he realized he could write, type and even operate a phone with his mouth. In the home, he moves around by walking on his knees. Travel outside is a lot harder given Claudio can’t use a wheelchair as a result of his body shape. Amazingly, he didn’t let this hold him back from going to school and getting qualified as an accountant. Nonetheless, he maintains a high degree of independence and even undertakes work doing research, accounting, and occasional motivational speeches to students at his former school.
We’ve all been there at least once in our lives. Maybe it was during tryouts for a team or perhaps it was working a particularly tough job. We’re talking about coming up against something we perceived as too hard or impossible – so we walked away or didn’t try at all. Too often we simply hit snooze or decide to stay on the couch when various challenges arise. Not Nick Vujicic. Despite the fact he has more reason than most of us to throw in the towel, this Australian is a fighter who doesn’t let anything stop him from living his life. Vujicic was born with Tetra-Amelia which means he doesn’t have two full arms and legs as most people.
Instead, this 34-year old only has two very small and deformed feet which he uses for stability. Nonetheless, he graduated from University, founded a non-profit organization and became a motivational speaker. He also hasn’t let his physical disability affect living a demanding physical life. This active lifestyle includes such activities as surfing and skydiving. That’s pretty incredible considering many able-bodied people would never be brave enough to undertake such activities.
We live in a world that puts a high value on how we look. In fact, when we think back to our years in school, appearance was often pretty important. After all, remember having to face your classmates with that massive zit? We bet Victoria Wright wishes her greatest challenge was the occasional bit of acne. Wright was diagnosed with cherubism. As a child and has lived with all the challenges brought forward by this disorder.