Can you imagine going about your day without your arm or leg? I definitely can’t. Every part of my body is important to me. And although I’ve become more plump now I have children, I’m thankful for having a complete, properly functioning body.
The same can’t be said of the following individuals. But although they were born without important body features, they are survivors who live their lives to the fullest.
On March 4, 2015, Brandi McGlathery delivered a baby boy prematurely. But that wasn’t the sad part about this story. The sad part is that when she got to see her baby for the first time, she immediately noticed something was very wrong with him. Her baby Eli did not have a nose!
Baby Eli has congenital arhinia, a condition that leaves him without any nose. This condition is so rare that there have only been 43 cases reported since 1931.
Because Eli struggles for breath during feedings, he was given a tracheotomy to help him breathe more easily when it is time to eat. Because of his condition, Eli’s parents expect him to visit specialists frequently throughout his life and they’ve created a gofundme page to help with the expenses. Eli also has a Facebook page where Brandi shares his progress with supporters.
We browse Facebook for hours on end and give a digital “thumbs up” to posts we like. In real life, giving a thumbs up would be impossible for someone born without one.
Meet Brandon Torres, a baby boy who has Duane-radial ray syndrome, a rare condition affecting only a few families worldwide. Brandon only has four fingers in his right hand, while his left hand’s thumb is small.
Fortunately for Brandon, doctors at the Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park were able to successfully cut and transfer his index finger to the thumb position. Unfortunately, the procedure known as pollicization was not covered by his family’s health insurance, so they’ve set up a gofundme page to help pay for expenses.
Premiering on June 13 is a documentary titled The Man With No Penis. It features Andrew Wardle who is born with the rare condition called bladder exstrophy, where his bladder is outside his body – known as an ectopic bladder, which he was fortunate enough to have a successful operation on. 30 million men are estimated to be born with the condition. Usually there’s a small fold of skin, less than an inch long, in place of the penis.
Although the congenital abnormality causes the bladder to “turn inside out”, it has also resulted in Andrew developing testicles but not a penis. Despite this though, Andrew claims he has slept with “more than 100 women;” satisfying them in every way apart from full sex. According to Gawker, he did this with the help of LSD and ecstasy as an excuse for not “rising to the occasion.”
A related condition is epispadias, wherein the urethra does not form properly. A 5-year-old boy who suffers from this condition also does not have external genitalia and passes urine through a hole in his groin area.
A pregnant woman who joyfully expected to have a healthy newborn had her hopes squashed when doctors told her the baby would most probably die in her womb or just moments after birth. That’s what Sonia Morales and her family had to cope with during her pregnancy with her second child Angela.
The baby was diagnosed to have anencephaly, a serious birth defect resulting in a baby being born without parts of the brain and skull. It affects 1 in 4,859 babies born each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“It was the saddest and scariest moments of our lives,” Sonia tells People. “But I looked at my husband and we decided that we were going to keep her no matter what.”
Despite doctors telling her that most women in the same situation opted for abortion, Sonia said she wanted to give Angela a shot at life. On the day Angela was born, the family was prepared to say goodbye to the newborn, but miraculously she survived day 1. A week after, Sonia was released from the hospital with baby Angela in her arms.
Angela has continued to defy expectations since and celebrated her first birthday on March 23, 2015. But the Moraleses don’t wait for Angela’s birthday to express their love for this sweet little angel. They end each day with a celebration complete with a birthday cake, birthday songs and a prayer that Angela would still be with them tomorrow.
Despite these physical challenges though, Nick has lived a “ridiculously good life.” He is a motivational speaker and a New York Time best-selling author. He founded the non-profit organization Life Without Limbs at age 17 and runs the inspirational program Attitude is Altitude.
Amy Brooks is another well known individual born without limbs as a result of another extremely rare condition called tetraphocomelia. She is an author, artist and public speaker. But to those who know her personally, she is famous for being a well of positivity.
“Obviously, there are challenges that go with not having arms or legs,” Amy said. “Those challenges include eating, writing, texting and ‘just hugging the people you love.’”
But she believes “God doesn’t make mistakes.” “I believe God created me with a purpose. God had plans for me”.
We can all copy her mantra in life which is to be positive despite the mountains of problems we face each day. “I can choose to have a crappy attitude, but I believe something powerful happens when we stop acting like a victim,” she said. “If God says you can do it, no one is stopping you but yourself.”
Here’s something from Nick, too:
These people are simply meowsome, right? We can certainly find inspiration and learn from them.
Do you still feel sad about your body after reading this article? What will you do to change that?