Tommy McAuliffe was the 'World Champion Armless Golfer'. Tommy was born in 1893 in Buffalo, New York, the oldest of five children. His arms were amputated after being run over by a train in 1902. He was left with no arms, not even stumps. He learned to write by holding a pencil in his mouth. He was the president of his senior class, attended three years of college, married in 1919, father of four children and grandfather of 16. He became a caddy at a nearby golf course. Using an old discarded club, he learned to play by holding the club between his neck and shoulder. He became so good he won the caddies tournament. After finishing college, Tommy was encouraged by his brother Walter, a professional golfer, to start his own Vaudeville Act in New York City. His "Trick Shot' act became so popular he traveled to all 48 states, all over Canada and Australia with his show. He did golf exhibitions at major golf courses in the U.S. He knew and played golf with Bobby Jones, Gene Sarazen, Walter Hagan, Chick Evans, Tommy Armour, Jim Barnes, Geo Van Elm and Sports Writer O.B. Keller. His low score for 18 holes was 85. His average was 92. Tommy became the "World Champion Armless Golfer."
Jessica Cox suffered a rare birth defect and was born without any arms. None of the prenatal tests her mother took showed there was anything wrong with her. And yet she was born with this rare congenital disease, but also with a great spirit. The psychology graduate can write, type, drive a car, brush her hair and talk on her phone by simply using her feet. Ms Cox, from Tuscon, Arizona, USA, is also a former dancer and double black belt in Tai Kwon-Do. She has a no-restrictions driving license, she flies planes and she can type 25 words a minute.
The plane she is flying is called an Ercoupe and it is one of the few airplanes to be made and certified without pedals. Without rudder pedals Jessica is free to use her feet as hands. She took three years instead of the usual six months to complete her lightweight aircraft licence, had three flying instructors and practiced 89 hours of flying, becoming the first pilot with no arms.
The Armless Guitar Player
Learning to walk means falling a lot for any child. For Tony Melendez, who was born without arms, it meant falling flat on his face time after time, until he learned to tumble and get back on his feet. That lesson, to keep trying, stuck with him. He wanted to play the guitar, and learned to pluck the strings with his toes. He practiced up to seven hours a day until the result was music. In 1987, when Melendez was 25, he played during Pope John Paul II's visit to Los Angeles, and the pope urged him to “continue giving this hope to all the people.” In response, Melendez has traveled to 40 countries and across the United States as a motivational speaker.
The Armless Fitness Woman
Meet a living inspiration, Barbie Guerra. Barb lost her arms at the age of two in an accident, yet she is a remarkable fitness model.
The Armless Painter
This amazing festive image was painted by an armless thalidomide victim, using his right foot. Peter Longstaff's artwork pieces include flickering candles and another depicts a stag in a magical winter wonderland setting. And as well as teaching himself to paint, the 48-year-old has lived life to the full as a pig farmer, father and youth football coach.
Peter was one of many babies born with deformities in the late 1950s and early 60s when their pregnant mothers were given the drug thalidomide to combat morning sickness.
But as a boy he learned to use his right foot like a right hand and was independent enough to complete main stream schooling growing up on Teesside. Peter said: 'My right foot is like your right hand. I figured out ways of doing things.' He opens doors and turns on light switches standing on one leg, using a mixture of agility and balance. As a teenager he had to endure cruel comments from 'ignorant people' but took it in his stride. His ability to get around between home, studio and sports field is down to an adapted Range Rover, which he steers with a plate under his left foot, but which is otherwise a standard automatic. He was once stopped by a stunned policeman who spotted he had no hands on the wheel - but quickly understood when he opened the door. Peter's artwork was on show at the Royal College of Art in London in 2009.