Alison Lapper has a congenital disorder, phocomelia, which caused her to be born without arms and with truncated legs. Her mother met her for the last time during her childhood when she was four months old, although a reconciliation was attempted later in Lapper’s life. She was institutionalised for her childhood, and is still distant from her relatives.
When she was fitted with artificial limbs, she experienced them only as an attempt to make her look less disconcerting instead of actually helping her. So she abandoned them and learned to live without external aids.
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