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18-Year-Old Chinese Girl Continues To Compete In Swimming Events Despite Having Both Legs Amputated

| by Khier Casino

A Chinese girl who lost her two legs at the age of four because of a car accident has put a basketball where the lower part of her body used to be.

Qian Hongyan, now 18, was hit by a speeding truck while crossing a busy road in Zhuangshang, the Inquisitr reports.

Doctors did not think she would live after they had no other choice but to amputate below the waist.

However, Hongyan went on to win the 100 meter breast stroke at the 10th annual Para Games, despite being told by her swimming coach that without her legs she would not be good enough to compete in the sport.

"The image of my little girl disappearing under those huge wheels that were taller than she was will haunt me for the rest of my life,” her mother, Zhou Huan-ping, told the Daily Star. "I saw her at the last second but was on the other side of the street and I was powerless to do anything to stop it.”

For about two years Hongyan didn’t have the strength in her body to sit up in a wheelchair. Doctors told her if she wanted to be able to move again they would have to perform extensive surgery that would allow her to be fitted with prosthetic limbs.

But being “simple workers” Honyan’s family could not afford to pay for the million dollar operation.

Qian was released from the hospital when she was six years old after doctors amputated her legs, removed her hip joints and lower ribs, leaving her with a pointed stump as a lower torso.

Her parents struggled for the first month to come up with a way of moving Hongyan around.

So her grandfather improvised using a basketball cut in half and two wooden handles to move herself around.

Hongyan was able to go back to school, play outside with her friends and begin professional swimming training in 2007.

Her disability didn’t stop her from winning one gold and two silver medals at the 2009 National Swimming Championship for the Disabled, and taking home three silvers the following year, according to ChinaHush.com. She collected three gold medals at Yunnan Para Games last year.

Hongyan is no longer a “basketball girl” as she can now walk with prosthetic limbs, thanks to people’s donations.

Sources: InquisitrDaily StarChinaHush.com

Photo Credits: ifeng, CEN via Daily Star

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