A woman who was born without arms performs everyday tasks with her feet and even eats with chopsticks using her TOES.
Inga Petry, 20, from Atlanta, Georgia, does not wear prosthetics because she can dexterously cook, eat, get dressed and apply makeup – with her feet.
She was born in Novosibirsk in Siberia with upper limb aplasia – a condition where a baby’s arms do not form in the womb – but is otherwise perfectly healthy.
She was adopted by American couple Daniel and Jennifer Petry, when she was two-and-a-half-years-old.
With the help and support of her loving adoptive family, she’s learned to use her feet to her advantage.
Inga Petry, 20, from Atlanta, Georgia, does not wear prosthetics because she can dexterously cook, eat, get dressed and apply makeup – with her feet
Inga was born in Novosibirsk in Siberia with upper limb aplasia – a condition where a baby’s arms do not form in the womb – but is otherwise perfectly healthy
Law student Inga said: ‘I use my legs to write and type. I use them to eat and I also cook a lot with my feet.
‘I have wonderful friends and a wonderful boyfriend who help me when I get in over my head.
‘I have been given prosthetics and I was thankful for them, but they don’t really work for me. I have gotten along so well without them.’
In exclusive videos, Inga shows off her dexterous feet by curling her lashes and applying mascara with her toes.
The pre-law student said she’d rather take life by the toes than cry over the fact she doesn’t have arms
Inga’s adoptive mother is a music teacher who taught her how to play the cello using her toes (pictured)
Inga knows nothing about her biological parents as it was a closed adoption, but she would have faced a tough future in Russia with her disability.
She said: ‘I have never met my birth parents but I know that because of the culture in Russia, I might have been sent to an asylum and the stigma would have been unbearable.
‘It was better for me to be adopted.’
What is upper limb aplasia?
Upper limb aplasia happens when a baby does not develop arms while in the womb.
It’s often referred to as a limb reduction defect because the size of the limb is reduced or the limb is missing.
In can affect both upper limbs (arms) or lower limbs (legs).
1 in every 1,900 babies is born with a limb reduction defect in the United States.
If treated with proper care, it doesn’t stop them from enjoying long and healthy lives.
The cause for limb reduction is unknown, however, there are risk factors, which include:
– Exposure of the mother to certain chemicals or viruses while she is pregnant
– Exposure of the mother to certain medications
– Possible exposure of the mother to tobacco smoking (although more research is needed)
No smudge. Unstoppable Inga learned how to applying make-up, including mascara, using her feet
The student revealed she was over-sexualised online and has been told many times she was ‘very pretty for someone who doesn’t have arms,’ which she finds offensive
Independent Inga loved up with her boyfriend Joseph, 22. The Siberian-born woman can always count on the support of her family and friends
Daniel, 46, an accountant, and Jennifer, 47, a musician, raised Inga in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and ensured that her disability would not hold her back.
Inga added: ‘My parents taught me that there were no excuses.
‘My mother was a music teacher and she taught me how to play the cello without arms.
Inga said she did not let her lack of arms limit what she could do in life, and does use prosthetics
Inga and Joseph. The couple have been together for 18 months and have spent the coronavirus lockdown together
Inga can do just about anything using her feet, including driving like a pro and riding the subway
Inga is so dexterous she can apply her eyeliner without any hitch using her big toe and second toe
‘Living without arms is all I’ve ever known. I do think I had to work a little harder to get where I wanted to be.
‘I decided to move to New York City, probably not the easiest city for anyone, let alone someone without arms.
‘I ride the subway and I do fine.’
Inga is a pre-law major and hopes to become an attorney one day.
The 20-year-old said she was interested in modelling and that she wished there was more diversity in fashion
Inga said she hoped to see more women with disabilities be more included in the world of fashion
While some still struggle to use chopsticks with their fingers, Inga has been using them with her feet
Her disability has not affected her love life and during COVID she quarantined with her boyfriend of 18 months, Joseph Macuga, 22.
But Inga said she does sometimes receive unpleasant, overly-sexualized messages on social media.
She said: ‘I get over-sexualized comments and a lot of people asking if I can read.
‘Some people have said to me that I’m really pretty for someone who doesn’t have arms.
Nimble Inga cooking bacon in a pan using her feet. She said she got over the fact she did not have arms quite quickly
Toe curling! Skilled Inga can even use an eyelash curler using her big toe to complete her makeup
‘That’s supposed to be a compliment, but it doesn’t feel like a compliment.
‘I could spend the rest of my life crying that I don’t have arms but I got over that pretty quickly.’
She added that she is also interested in modeling and believes that there should be more diversity in photo shoots and fashion shows.
‘I think it would be incredible to see more women with disabilities in the modeling and fashion industry,’ Inga said.