Double amputee Paralympic swimmer reveals she is often bullied for parking in a disabled spot

A woman who is a double amputee has posted a now-viral video in which she talks about people bullying her for parking in a disabled spot as they don’t realize she has prosthetic legs. 

28-year-old Jessica Long, from Baltimore, Maryland, is a paralympic swimmer. She has revealed that a woman shamed her for parking in a disabled spot as she had no idea she was disabled, and it apparently happens way too often.

Jessica is a swimmer of Russian origin and was training for this year’s Olympic Games in Japan.

She shared her frustrations on TikTok and called out the woman for making assumptions. The video has been viewed millions of times since it was posted.

Image: TikTok

In the TikTok clip, Jessica said:

“So, it just happened again.

“I was parking my car — and I hope she sees this — this woman just has the nerve to look me up and down disgusted that I parked in the handicapped spot.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Jessica Long (@jessicatatianalong)

Then, the athlete pulled out her disabled pass and presented it to the camera.

Tired of it all, she said:

“I don’t have legs!”

Image: Instagram

She revealed that the woman should not have needed to be told why she needed the disabled spot, but Jessica told her anyway.

“She just kind of rolled down her window and proceeded to be like, ‘You shouldn’t park there.'”

“I was just like, ‘Okay, I’m an amputee. I don’t have legs’.

“That’s why I’m parked in the handicapped [space]. That’s why I have the handicapped pass. And she kind of just drove off.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Jessica Long (@jessicatatianalong)

Jessica noted that this happens to her quite regularly and said she was actually surprised, as she never got bullied as a child and did not believe adults would act in such ways.

She said:

“I was never bullied as a kid and I didn’t know that I was going to be bullied by adults because I park in handicap.

“And I get it. I’m young, I’m athletic, but I’m also missing legs! And I know I make it look easy, but it’s still really hard. My legs are heavy, they hurt me. I’m in pain.”

Jessica called on people to be kind to each other and concluded by saying:

“You don’t need to know why someone is parked in handicapped.”

Jessica was born with a birth defect called fibular hemimelia.

In an interview for BuzzFeed News she said:

“I was missing my fibula bones and several other bones in my lower legs. I did have a little foot with three toes on each leg.”

 

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A post shared by Jessica Long (@jessicatatianalong)

After Jessica was born, her 16-year-old mother put her up for adoption as she said she would not be able to care for her due to her disability.

She was adopted by her American parents when she was 13-months-old.

Five months after, Jessica’s legs had to be amputated in order for her to be able to start walking with prosthetics. She underwent 25 surgeries growing up but when she started swimming she found true meaning in life.

 

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A post shared by Jessica Long (@jessicatatianalong)

When she was 12 years of age, she took part in her first Paralympics and was able to win three gold medals. She now has 23 medals in total, 13 of which are gold!

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