… I doubt that there were three happier people in the whole world than Stephen, James and me. And then our joy was shared, if not quite so personally, by everyone that had known us through my pregnancy.
“So what’s so wonderful about all this?” you say. “Lots of women have babies.”
But I was born with legs that ended above the knee and with no arms, and just two fingers on each shoulder. Four fingers and thirteen toes in all.
It does make a difference…
… My mother told me of the first time that she had taken me out shopping with her. A woman, looking into the pram said, “Oh, what a beautiful baby.” Then, pulling back the covers a little, she saw my little stumpy arms with two fingers sprouting from each shoulder.
She screamed, “My God, it’s a freak,” and went running up the road as though afraid that I might be contagious…
…Solicitously, they treated us with crash helmets, transforming us into ‘Metal Mickey’s’, a process that rather defeated their avowed purpose of making us less conspicuous in the world. One particularly ingenious device involved artificial arms powered by compressed gas, carried in a cylinder on your back, hardly something that could be easily concealed….
… The pharmaceutical departments of the IG Farben cartel used the victims of the concentration camps during human experiments, such as the testing of new and unknown vaccines and drugs. In the Auschwitz trials, correspondence was discovered…