By Nathalie Bonney @nathaliebonney

DETERMINED to become the first male amputee signed to a modelling agency, personal trainer Jack Eyers has already made history as the first male amputee model to walk at New York Fashion Week

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Videographer / director: Adam Prosser
Producer: Nathalie Bonney, Ruby Coote
Editor: James Thorne

Working as a fitness model, Jack has appeared on the cover of UK Men's Health

The 26-year-old from Bournemouth, has also walked at London, Milan and Russia’s Men’s Fashion Weeks, as well as appearing on the cover of Men’s Health UK.

What makes Jack’s rise all the more astonishing is that he was born with a debilitating condition and chose to have his leg amputated aged 16 - and claims it was “the best decision” he ever made.

Jack said: “When I was the first amputee to walk on New York Fashion week, it was in every single media all over the world. People from New Zealand contacted me, Jamaica, America, Russia, all messaging me on social media.

“I then went to Milan Fashion Week and London Men’s Fashion Week and then more recently Moscow in Russia. It’s been a good career so far.

Jack trains both with and without his prosthetic leg

“The strangest thing for me was when I was on the front cover of Men’s Health. That was my lifelong dream since I was a kid. I made it.”

The fitness model has set himself a couple of big goals this year: to break into acting and to get signed by a modelling agency.

“I think it’s about time,” he said.

In spite of his phenomenal success so far, much of Jack’s modelling work remains for charity or unpaid.

Even in winter Jack prefers to wear shorts
Jack follows the caveman diet to maintain his physique

Jack said: “I feel that the modelling industry is slowly changing. Very slowly. But more needs to happen.”

A regular campaigner for charity Models of Diversity, Jack wants to see a broader representation in the fashion world.

He said: “I think the biggest thing that needs to change in the modelling industry is to show there is more diversity to use more diverse models.”

Growing up Jack, suffered from primal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD). The congenital condition caused growth problems in his hip and leg and saw him go into hospital twice as a child for major surgery.

Jack works as a personal trainer alongside his modeling work

As the degenerative condition got worse Jack did less and less of the sporting activities he had once loved and struggled with confidence, believing himself to be a ‘freak.’

He said: “Growing up with a disability massively affected my confidence. I used to try and hide anyway I could.

“I found school quite challenging. Sitting down on the floor when you’ve got a partially developed hip was pretty uncomfortable. So, I never really focused or wanted to even go to lessons.

“When I was younger, I was in to everything. I used to play football for school, rugby, swam for Somerset, horse riding, cricket, everything. Eventually, my condition got worse and worse and that’s when I realised that I was disabled.

From Bournemouth, Jack has travelled to New York, Milan and Moscow to model

“I was in hospital a number of times. I had my hip reconstructed twice and metal work and plate work.”

Causing him much pain and discomfort, aged just 12, Jack told his parents he would be happier with his leg cut off.

He said: “When I finally told my parents, I was serious about getting my leg amputated. I think their reaction was probably very understandable. But they understood where I was coming from.”

Doctors explained amputation was possible - but that he’d have to wait until he was fully grown before an amputation would even be considered.

As well as his personal training clients, Jack trains himself every day

As a teenager, Jack admits turning to alcohol and drugs to try and hide from his painful condition and his unusual appearance due to a bulky leg brace he had to wear.

Jack said: “It was awful. I had no inspiration. I was alone. I had no way of expressing myself. So I used a lot of drugs and alcohol to kind of mask that, to build the confidence and mask those faults.”

Finally aged 16, Jack was submitted to hospital for elective amputation. Five days later he went home and hasn’t looked back since.

“I had a massive sense of relief once the amputation happened. I had been waiting for many years and I was desperate to move on in my life.

Jack works with Models of Diversity to campaign for more diversity in the fashion industry

“It was totally my choice and it was the best decision I ever made.”

Jack felt more mobile without his leg and started an intense fitness regime. Able to do single leg power jumps, Jack eventually started working as a personal trainer – a job he still does alongside his modelling.

He said: “I find the job very rewarding. The success stories are what keep me motivated.

“Eventually I want to start focusing on just working for amputees because I think that I can really offer them something special."

Jack wants to be signed by a modeling agency in 2017

The personal trainer works out most days - a minimum of one hour a day, usually, six hours a week, sometimes twice a day - and sticks to a strict caveman diet. It seems this intense fitness and diet regime is clearly paying off.

He said: “I never thought that I would ever be a model. I didn’t even think it was an opportunity for me or even a direction I could even take.

“When I see photos of myself I am always very proud.

“Being a disabled model, I guess you do have to work harder than most other models because you’ve got a lot to prove."