Woman born with no limbs dedicated her life to raising her son alone, but lost him before she could watch him succeed


As a child she was bullied for being different but she did not let that turn her bitter. She loved her son so much before destiny took him away from her.

Born with phocomelia, a condition due to which she did not have limbs and a red mark on her face, doctors believed Alison Lapper would not be able to make it too far, or even if she did, she would have to overcome great difficulty and stigma throughout her life. Lapper was just seven weeks old when she was snatched from her mother and sent to a children’s home. Her mother was told that it was better if the state took care of her.

The staffers of the children’s home called them “strange little creatures.” Lapper, whose hand, and legs are abbreviated limbs had a tough childhood growing up with a disability. But as brave as she is, she grew up to become an artist.

Alison Lapper is an accomplished British artist. I'd never heard of her until I was researching today's birthdays! What an inspiring story!

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She had achieved massive success, and while some might say a disability is a challenge, for many others, it can be a driving force to do better. But despite her achievements, Alison’s dream was to become a mother. Though it wasn’t easy at first, she did manage to become pregnant. However, Lapper faced hurdles here, too.

The pregnancy was not without challenges as Lapper had to go through multiple miscarriages after conceiving, until she could finally carry her baby to full term. “I had been pregnant in my 20s, had miscarried four times and had always assumed that becoming a mother was not a possibility for me. But when I became pregnant again in April 1999 I knew I wasn’t going to miscarry. I was very fit and healthy and everything in my body and brain felt right,” she told The Guardian.

Lapper came into limelight after she posed naked while eight months pregnant for a Marc Quinn statue, which stood in Trafalgar Square for two years, according to the Independent.

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Before her could birth, however, Lapper’s partner decided to leave her, and she ended up becoming a single mom. While she might have initially been concerned about how she would manage everything by herself, bringing her son into this world was euphoric for the young mother.

Regardless of the heartbreak, the birth of her son Parys had changed her life. “He was healthy, he was cute, he was a blessed miracle,” she said.

Nothing made her happier than when she first saw him. “When I saw him, I just cried and cried,” Mail Online quoted her. “The emotions I felt were indescribable. I had never imagined I was going to be a mother, never thought it could be possible. But when they placed him on my shoulder and I gave him a little kiss on his head and said ‘hello’, I was overwhelmed.”

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Back then, little did she know that she will have bid adieu to him before she could watch him succeed.

“My disability hasn’t ever created a barrier between us, but if the children at school tease him or make negative comments about his mother he may find it hard to deal with,” she had said when Parys was five years old. “…we’ve been through a lot together. I am the only person who has been constantly in his life since he was born.”

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However, this happiness too was to be snatched away from her soon. Her son Parys Lapper, 19, passed away due to a supposed overdose and this left his mother, distraught. He was found in a hotel room in July 2019. “Alison Lapper spent eight hours beside him, crying, hugging him and kissing his hair,” The Times quoted.

The bereaved mother told The Times that her son suffered cruel bullying at school due to her disability.

Lapper once called Parys “the greatest piece of artwork.” Now that she had to lay her son to rest, one can only imagine the pain that she must have gone through.

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