My 'normal' life as a Quadruple amputee Blog
14-year-old Izzy is a trampolinist from Derby who, at a young age, contracted meningitis, resulting in the loss of her arms and legs. Although a tough thing to deal with, Izzy hasn't allowed these physical limitations to stop her achieving her dreams.
Here, Izzy blogs about the difficulties of being a quadruple amputee, as well as the positive aspects, and shares with us her advice for anyone in a similar situation.
My name’s Isabelle Weall and I’m 14 years old. When I was 7 I got ill with meningitis and as a result, had to have parts of my arms and legs amputated making me now a quadruple amputee. I don’t let this stop me though, I do trampolining, my makeup and so much more - and I post it all on my YouTube channel.
I have had such great experiences such as meeting Paralympians, royalty, celebrities and racing car drivers, and in 2016, I won the Schools Gymnastics National Championships for trampolining - this was one of my greatest successes and to this day I am so happy I won it. It was awesome to receive my trophy whilst the National Anthem played. This led to me winning a Mirror Pride of Sport Award earlier this year, and going to the presentation evening in London to receive it. It was my first time on a red carpet and I loved it.
I have also had many challenging experiences such as having to re-learn how to do everything at the age of seven; I had to learn how to write and to walk all over again. It was also challenging when I moved from primary school to secondary school on my own. I left everyone that had known me before I got ill so I was meeting loads of new people that would only know me for who I am now. I also think I have a challenge every day of proving to people that my disability doesn’t label me or hold me back from accomplishing my goals in life.
Sometimes the smallest things are a great accomplishment, even if it just means I’ve learnt to do something new by myself. As a quadruple amputee, I have to find different ways to do everyday tasks, and this is rewarding because it helps me get one step closer to becoming fully independent. A new challenge that I am embarking on is learning to drive a race car with Team BRIT over the next few months, firstly through use of an adapted simulator. This is really exciting as it is a large challenge and well out of my comfort zone!
I don’t see myself as disabled. I live with the attitude that I can do anything I put my mind to. Everyone’s different in their own ways and this is what makes us special as individuals. Visually, as an amputee, my appearance is different to all of my friends but I still do all the things a normal 14-year-old girl would. I go trampolining, I do my makeup, I go out with my friends and have fun. I have grown to not care if my appearance is different to my peers and just embrace it. For example, having pink legs!
The main bit of advice I would give to anyone else in a similar situation, is that you are capable of doing anything you want to achieve - you just have to believe in yourself and your own capabilities. You can do anything, just keep trying. This was one of the main reasons behind starting my channel on YouTube because I wanted to show anyone else that you can do whatever you aim to do. Anyone can achieve their dreams!
Watch other amazing stories over on All4's Extraordinary Teens.
If you would like information and support regarding meningitis, check out the Channel 4 support page