Feet of inspiration: Girl who lost arms learns to cross-stitch

Amazing feet: Miss Yang Pei demonstrating how she uses a pair of chopsticks and cross-stitches using her feet.
PHOTO: Feet of inspiration: Girl who lost arms learns to cross-stitch

She made her first public appearance on Chinese Dream Show, a reality talent programme, last year.

The armless young woman ran cheerfully onto the stage, grinning widely.

Miss Yang Pei, 24, told the judges and audience that her dream was to open a cross-stitch embroidery shop offering her handiwork.

It seemed like an impossible feat.

But on the show, Miss Yang demonstrated how she stitched in intricate detail, using her toes to thread the needle, before stitching with her toes and mouth.

By the end of the segment, she not only won sponsorship to open a shop in Shanghai, several of the judges also commissioned pieces by her.

Childhood Trauma

Miss Yang revealed that she lost her arms to a high-voltage electric shock when she was nine.

She had tugged at an electric cable, unaware that it was loose. As a result, her arms were so severely injured that they had to be amputated.

Doing what people think she can't do is par for the course for Miss Yang.

On Monday, she was in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur to give a motivational talk to primary school pupils.  And she also demonstrated her skills at embroidering a piece of work.

Nothing is impossible, Miss Yang stressed. And as she talked, she walked down the stage to interact with the pupils in the hall.

Many were uncertain how to react, until one girl walked up to Miss Yang and gave her a hug.

A surge followed, as one by one, the students took turns to offer a hug of encouragement and support to Miss Yang.

And as she continued to talk about her life, many students broke down.

It wasn't easy at first, she admitted.

She had entertained thoughts of suicide, especially when she saw how hard her parents struggled to support her.

It was her mother who turned her around.

Miss Yang said: "She asked me what good would it do if I died? How would anyone benefit?"

"I gradually trained myself to use my feet like they are my hands."

This article was first published on Aug 22, 2014.
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