FNB Acacia

Defying the odds...

SHARE   |   Friday, 07 June 2019   |   By Ricardo Kanono
Neo Keitumetse Neo Keitumetse

living as a double amputee

Inspirational mom-of-two, 29, reveals how she takes care of her husband and young kids despite having NO LEGS - after a birth defect meant she had to have them amputated as a child

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A mother-of-two happily dotes on her loving husband and cares for her baby twins - despite being a double amputee. Neo Keitumetse originally from Botswana, was born with a congenital defect in her legs which meant she had to get them amputated when she was just five years of age. And despite sometimes being made fun of by children at school when she was a child, the now 29-year-old doesn’t care what people think about her disability anymore.  Journey: Neo Keitumetse, 29, was born with a congenital defect in her legs that resulted in doctors having to amputate them when she was just five years old. The 29-year-old told Barcroft TV: ‘For me it was a birth defect my legs, you know how the legs should be straight but the other leg was facing down. She explained: ‘My mom took the advice of the doctors, they told her that there is nothing to do so they decided to amputate both of them in 1994 and I was five years old.’  Neo has been a double amputee for 24 years, and doesn’t care what people think about her disability - however this wasn’t always the case. She said: ‘Life in Botswana when I was young it was fine but when you went to school children look at you and some children make fun of you, you don’t have legs so when children made fun of me it was hard. 

‘But eventually when you grow up and you have a family that cares about you it doesn’t matter anymore. I still studied hard at school.’  Neo left for Canada to study, and while she was visiting a friend in America in 2014 she met her husband Garrett Kirchway. She said: ‘I think he liked me when he first saw me, he was single and I was a student in Canada and I was coming here only for two weeks, the Christmas break. I met him on the 21st of December in 2014 and in that two weeks we clicked.’ The couple, who now live in Tempe, Arizona, got married and shortly after Neo found out she was pregnant with twins. Unfortunately Neo’s pregnancy was very difficult, and had many complications. She explained, saying that her pregnancy was ‘high risk’. ‘We found out I was pregnant but when I was four months. I got really sick and then I had to go to the hospital, I had a kidney infection because of pregnancy. ‘My stumps are fine but when I put more weight on them they become painful, because I was heavy because of having two babies in my belly.’ But fortunately she gave birth two two healthy twin boys, Caleb and Joshua. She said: ‘When I found out that I was gonna 

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have twins I was so happy because I am someone that loves twins.’  Out and about: When Neo goes out with her family, she uses prosthetic legs Neo does all the regular duties of a mother, but without any legs.  She said ‘Being an amputee doesn’t affect life as a mother, being a mother and a double amputee is just a matter of adjusting and knowing that I cannot reach something on the top.  ‘I cannot have a crib that is high so what I can do I can make my baby sleep on the floor,’ she added.  When the couple go out, Neo uses her prosthetic legs, however she finds them difficult for long journeys.  Neo’s main goal in the disabled community is to show that those who are less-abled should be considered the same as those with full ability.  She began a YouTube channel where she posts about cooking, looking after her children and everyday life as a double amputee, as she aims to show other amputees that it is possible to carry out regular motherly duties.  Since she began her channel last year, she has garnered over 6,000 subscribers who regularly tune in to follow her journey.  She said: ‘I created my YouTube 

channel in 2018. My main reason was to raise an awareness that because you don’t have legs doesn’t mean you cannot have children. ‘I wanted to show people that you can have children and that I was able to get a husband that just shows people that not having legs doesn’t not mean that you are not a person, you can still do everything that the other person who has legs can do.’   When discussing her YouTube channel, her husband Garrett said: ‘Basically three different types of videos cooking videos vlog videos amputee videos but I think she tries to incorporate all those things into her vlog and so it seems like a good mix so far.  ‘She has gotten a lot of positive comments from Africans and from people who have disabilities and obviously 99 per cent of those comments have been really positive’. Neo said: ‘If I could speak to my younger person I would say you are a person too just because you don’t have legs doesn’t make you different from any other person. ‘So hold your head up don’t be offended by these people who bully, don’t be offended by them, just go out and just get it,’ she added. [dailymail. co.uk]



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