Jessica Long is a 28-year-old amputee without legs that recently turned to TikTok to scold a woman that had engaged with her for parking in a handicapped spot.
Long is a decorated swimmer who has won one gold, three silver, and two bronze medals at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, and she slammed the other woman for assuming that she had no right to the handicapped parking place – even though she had the parking permit.
The worst part is that this experience isn’t a one-time thing, but she claims that she gets two to four similar comments per week. She said that she’s had people yell at her, leave notes on her windshield, knock on her car window, or even wait for her to get out of her car to tell her that she can’t park there.
Her worst experience was when an older couple followed her around a grocery store and kept making comments because they wanted the handicap spot she took and said that she didn’t need it. She explained that she had two prosthetic legs and they told her she was a liar.
Check out the TikTok video for yourself and see what she’s talking about:
Jessica’s video racked up more than 4.2 million views, and she received an abundance of support in the comments. She shared that she was born with a birth defect called fibular hemimelia, and she’s had more surgeries than she can count.
“I was missing my fibula bones and several other bones in my lower legs. I did have a little foot with three toes on each leg. My adoptive parents had those amputated when I was 18 months old so I could be fitted with prosthetic legs and learn to walk.” – she told BuzzFeed.
She became the youngest member of the US Paralympics team and is a 13-time paralympic world champion!
Despite her achievements, Jessica only wants to be an inspiration, but doesn’t want to be treated as ‘other’.
“If I can do it with the challenges I face, you can too. 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.” – she further added.
Source: Bored Panda