Sarah’s ABS Story

I’m Sarah, 14 years ago, on the 1st of May, I was born in Sydney Australia. Amniotic Band Syndrome has cause for me to lose most of my forearm. From what my mother has told me, about 26 weeks into the pregnancy, I was diagnosed with ABS. When I was born, my mum and dad had many scares for what I would have to face during my lifetime, For example, how to ride a bike?

Since I have remembered, I was raised to respond with “I was born like that.” If I ever got asked “What happened to your arm?”, I would even sometimes get the occasional, “Did a shark bite off your arm?!” which always had made me laugh.

Ever since I was in Kindergarten, I occasionally got teased by some of my class mates and a few people on my bus, but that never really bothered me. I think, since a young age, I have been taught that you should definitely not make fun of someone that is different to you and who looks different, which explains reasons why I have been told that I am so kind and wise.

In first grade, I happened to have appeared in multiple magazines and newspapers (I have been featured on my local newspaper many times since birth) and I even had an interview. All these reasons are because I was one of the first people, in the world I think, to try out “a fake arm” which was a specially sculpted arm that was powered by a battery and the senses in my arm. This was basically a robotic arm that would help people in my condition in ways that we have never explored. Ever since I was a baby, I have been given these arms, although, they never discovered robotic ones until I was about 6.

I thought they were super cool because everyone wanted to try it on and play with it, but by the time 2nd grade came along, I got tired. I got tired of being different and not being like everyone else. From then on, I haven’t used one since. Nowadays, they are so helpful and can be a great impact on your life, but I never wanted to be the odd one out.

I am now going into Senior Year in High school next year, and I have definitely came a looong way since I was back in first grade. In the 6th and 7th years of my experience in primary school (middle) I got serious anxiety due to a lot of the bullying I
got in those years, but I have, of course came out of my shell in high school. In those years, I would have never thought I’d be where I am now. I am spoiled with such great friends that are so nice and loyal to me, and I haven’t been bullied at all in high school. I don’t get treated any different most of the time which is what I want and I have a great education, where I am capable to do just about anything.

I have definitely proved to my Mum that it isn’t really that hard in life. I know how to do many things that people are surprised at. I can ride my bike, play piano, I can play basketball well, do my hair, I am even typing with both of my arms! I have learnt that, if you just try, you can succeed. No matter what, you should not doubt yourself and there will always a good ending.