Double amputee Jessica Long is tired of strangers shaming her for parking in a handicapped spot simply because she doesn’t “look” the part. So she took to social media and her words are powerful!
Jessica Long is a decorated Paralympic swimmer. And the 28-year-old double amputee has worked hard to overcome the challenges of “having no legs.”
But one of the challenges she finds most frustrating is strangers’ reactions to her parking in a handicapped spot.
Double Amputee Bullied For Parking In A Handicapped Spot
Jessica’s parents adopted her from Russia when she was just a baby, bringing her to live with them in Maryland in the United States. They discovered Jessica’s lower legs hadn’t developed properly as a baby. And as a result, at just 18 months old, doctors amputated both of her legs below the knee.
Jessica Long didn’t let that hold her back. Fitted with prosthetic legs, she began swimming at 9 years old and went on to become an incredibly successful Paralympic athlete.
Growing up, Jessica’s peers accepted her and treated her with respect. Yet now, as an adult, she’s finding that isn’t the case.
“I was never bullied as a kid (thank goodness),” Jessica shares on social media. “But as I got older I actually started getting bullied by other adults… from parking in a handicap spot.”
Despite having the proper handicap permit and tags, people take one look at her and assume she has no right to park in a handicapped spot. And their reactions are downright cruel.
“I've had people yell at me, leave notes on my windshield, knock on my car window or wait for me to get out of my car just to tell me I can't park there,” Jessica Long explained.
Double Amputee’s Plea For Kindness
One day, a woman looked disgusted as she witnessed Jessica parking in a handicapped spot, and the recent run-in was the final straw.
“I get 2 to 4 comments a week just going about my normal routine and parking in handicap spaces,” she said.
Fed up, Jessica took to social media, asking people to stop making assumptions.
Putting it bluntly, an exasperated Jessica exclaimed, “I don’t have legs!”
WATCH: Jessica Long Explains Why She Is Parking In A Handicapped Spot
The 28-year-old understands she may be young and athletic. But that doesn’t mean life as a double amputee is easy. And parking in a handicapped spot helps alleviate some of the daily challenges.
“I know I make it look easy, but it’s still really hard,” Jessica explains. “My legs are heavy. They hurt me. I’m in pain.”
At first glance, Jessica may appear perfectly healthy. But looks can be deceiving and don’t always tell the whole story. So, Jessica is just asking people to be kind and refrain from jumping to conclusions.
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“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” John 7:24
Jessica Long Explains Why Parking In A Handicapped Spot Is So Important For Her
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Featured Image Credit: TikTok/Jessica Long