- Jessica Long, 28, has been scolded by a woman for parking in the disabled spot.
- A double amputee born with fibular hemimelia, she uses prosthetic legs.
- She later posted on social media to share about her frustrating experience and encourage people to be kind.
Life can be quite challenging for Jessica Long. The 28-year-old American woman is a double amputee who has no legs. On top of that, she sometimes encounters discrimination from strangers.
Fortunately, Jessica is a fighter. In fact, she’s a swimmer who has won a gold, three silver, and two bronze medals when she competed in the 2016 Paralympic Games. Recently, however, she went viral online after sharing an experience where someone scolded her for parking in the disabled spot.
“So, it just happened again.”
She said in a TikTok video:
“I was parking my car — and I hope she sees this — this woman just has the nerve to look me up and down, disgusted that I parked in the handicapped spot.”
The sad thing here, of course, is that this wasn’t even the first time.
As she wrote on Instagram:
“I get two to four comments per week, just going about my normal routine and parking in handicap spaces. I’ve had people yell at me, leave notes on my windshield, knock on my car window, or wait for me to get out of my car just to tell me I can’t park there. My worst experience to date was an older couple that followed me around a grocery store and kept making comments because they wanted the handicap spot I took and said that I didn’t need it. I even explained I had two prosthetic legs and they told me I was a liar.”
Jessica was born with fibular hemimelia, a rare birth defect where portion or all the fibular bone is missing.
“I get it, I don’t ‘look’ handicapped, but what does that even mean?!,” asked Jessica. ”I’ve been through more surgeries than I can count.”
Now she’s urging people to be kind to the disabled.
She also added:
”My whole life I’ve had to adapt. I rely on my handicap pass. Every day is different… some days my legs don’t hurt as bad, but for the most part, they cause me pain.”
She began swimming at the age of 10. Fast forward to the present, she’s now a 13-time Paralympic champion!
According to her, she wants to be an inspiration to others – but for the right reasons.
“If I can do it with the challenges I face, you can too,“ remarked Jessica. “What I don’t like is people commenting how ‘inspiring’ I am doing normal daily tasks like grocery shopping, getting coffee, or taking a walk. THAT is not inspiring. People can be inspired by my work ethic, career, healthy lifestyle, or positive attitude, but not me living my normal life.”
Watch her viral TikTok video here:
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