A young amputee from Leeds who was forced by a lifelong condition to have both her legs removed has become a model.
Courageous Lizzy Holmes, 24, who was born with ‘club foot’ – meaning both her feet were back to front – has suffered a lifetime of chronic pain and endured 36 operations, the first when she was just 10 weeks old.
Her first leg was amputated below the knee the day after her wedding to soldier Lewis Georgeson, 21.
Now her other leg has been amputated – but that hasn’t stopped her launching a modelling career.
“I feel amazing, relieved and free,” she told the YEP. “I have wanted to remove them for a long time as I know life will be much easier for me with prosthetic legs.”
Lizzy, from Oakwood, was born with the condition, which has meant a lot of pain and operations, and regular morphine doses just to manage the pain.
“I may never be completely pain free, as the way I’ve walked has affected my spine, but I already feel much better,” she said.
“While I am fit and young I can adapt to my new life. I don’t let my disability stop me from doing anything. I love to swim and I am looking forward to hopefully raising some money myself, so I can buy some special wet legs, to swim properly.”
Lizzy has now signed with a modelling agency and is their only double amputee model after they saw just one picture of her. She already has a photoshoot booked.
“I can’t wait to do some modelling, it will be brilliant,” she said. “I am not embarrassed about my legs.”
She has had “great” support from family and friends, including husband Lewis who is “luckily strong enough to carry me when I need it”.
Inspirational Lizzy trained as a nurse for two years but had to quit due to the heavy lifting required for some parts of the work. As well as her modelling, she is now studying with the Open University to become a primary school teacher.
Her sister Amy, from Middleton, said her sibling’s modelling bid was “amazing”. “I’ve seen my sister suffer with 23 years of pain and she has had more than 30 operations she made a decision to have both legs amputated. “Since having her second leg removed, she has gone from strength.”
For her amputation procedures, Lizzy was treated in Sheffield by orthopaedic surgeon Mr Michael Dennison, who she said “has been brilliant”.
HARD WORK CONTINUES
Lizzy’s condition is called congenital bilateral talipes equinovaurus, more commonly known as ‘club feet’.
She will be given two sets of prosthetic legs by the NHS, one for everyday use, plus a pair of blades for running or sports.
She is also planning to raise money for special prosthetic leg covers, which are not available on the NHS.
If you would like to help Lizzy with her fundraising, contact firstname.lastname@example.org