Linda and Timmy Bannon, from Chicago, were both born with Holt-Oram syndrome, a rare hereditary condition that affects bone growth and can cause heart problems. She said: ‘There’s no reason why Timmy can’t have a wife and family. As long as he’s happy that’s all that matters.’ For most, the household chores are an arduous task. But for mother-of-one Linda Bannon, simple jobs such as cooking dinner in the evening, washing up and making the bed, present an almost impossible challenge.
The 35-year-old was born with no arms – the result of the rare hereditary condition Holt-Oram syndrome, which affects bone growth and can cause heart problems. But Mrs Bannon refuses to let her disability get in the way of her living a normal life, using her feet in place of her hands. More pictures after the break
And the mother-of-one has passed on her inspirational attitude to her son, Timmy, who was born with the same condition. Like her, the nine-year-old has not let the condition hold him back. He can swim, regularly takes taekwondo classes and plays video games like any boy his age – using his toes to grip the controller. Mrs Bannon, who has taught herself to eat using cutlery, put on make-up and even sew using her feet, said: ‘Timmy is just like any other little boy. ‘He does his homework, plays Lego and tidies his room, all using his feet.
‘He gets frustrated by things like fastening buttons, but he’s very positive and I’m so proud of him. ‘I knew from scans he was going to be born without arms. We were understandably concerned, but I wasn’t too daunted as I knew he’d be able to live a normal life like me.’ The mother-of-one, who grew up in Chicago with her parents and four younger siblings, said her parents were unaware of her condition until she was born.
‘They took it in their stride and never treated me differently,’ she said. ‘They helped me to walk and dress myself. I had prosthetic arms but they were uncomfortable. ‘So by the age of 12 I was doing everything with my feet. I was teased at school, but my friends supported me.’