By Giacomo Brunelli @giacomobrunelli
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Videographer / director: Nick Childers
Producer: Giacomo Brunelli, James Thorne
Editor: James Thorne
Amy Brooks from Pittsburgh, USA, was born with Congenital Tetraphocomelia, a birth defect that affects all four limbs.
The 37-year-old told Barcroft TV: Amy told BTV: “I obviously have to do things a lot differently than someone who is completely able-bodied but I’m able to do things just in a different way.”
Amy’s biological mother feared that she was going to miscarry her so was prescribed a concoction of medication to prevent that from happening.
She was then abandoned by her biological parents shortly after birth – they even went as far as to ask hospital staff to put her in a room and not feed her.
Luckily, she was almost immediately adopted by the loving Brooks family.
Amy said: “Doctors in the beginning definitely doubted that I would be independent, my parents didn’t accept that answer so they always encouraged me.”
Though nothing comes easy to Amy, throughout the years she has become more and more independent and is now even learning to drive.
Amy runs her own YouTube channel, “How Does She Do It?”, in which she shows her followers how she manages to do everyday tasks without any limbs.
“My YouTube channel wasn’t something I really wanted to do at the time, being in front of the camera is daunting but I thought it was also another avenue of being an encouragement to others,” she said.
All her videos are self-produced, as she is able to set up the video equipment with no help.
She said: “I don’t know if I would call myself a photographer, but I do like to take photos, I use my mouth, my chin and my shoulder for everything.”
Though Amy does get some mean comments on social media platforms, most of the feedback she receives is positive.
“I only focus on the positive, meeting their negativity with more negativity is a waste of breath and time to be honest.”
Since writing the first part of her autobiography in 2014, Amy has been doing motivational speaking.
Amy said: “I love to be able to share my story with others, not because I feel like I do anything great, but I believe that my message is an important one for people out there, that we’re here for a reason and each one of us has a purpose.”
Amy’s biggest achievement to date is learning to sew: “It’s something that I didn’t think that I was able to do, it’s an extreme challenge but I love to do it.”
She enjoys sewing handbags, which she sells online through Facebook.
Her parents have always pushed to her to be independent but never thought she would take it this far.
Janet said: “I didn’t want her to have a cushion life, but I never ever dreamt that she would be as independent and do as many things as she can do now”.
“Her brother Noah never saw her differently to anyone else: “she was always that way, so I never felt bad for her”.