Extraordinary People

Woman born without arms is talented musician who plays cello with her feet

Inga Petry was two-years-old when she was adopted by a music teacher.

They say humour is the best medicine, and that’s exactly what one woman who was born without arms uses to describe herself.

For Inga Petry’s Instagram bio states: “I seem to have misplaced my arms.”

The law student’s disabilities have never held her back though, and she is an accomplished musician who plays the cello with her feet.

Incredible videos of Inga showcase her talents as she creates music with the instrument lying on its back against the ground and clutching the bow in-between her toes.

Born in Siberia, Inga was adopted by American music teacher Jennifer Petry, who also works as a director and consultant for music students with special needs.

Jennifer insisted that her daughter would have the chance to play just like any other child and introduced her to lessons on a viola at just three-years-old.

Inga has now performed all over the US, and across the UK, alongside her sister Elena (also born without arms) as a double-act known at The Petry Sisters.

Now based in New York City, Inga – who has upper limb aplasia, a condition where the arms do not form in the womb – hopes to become a successful laywer.

Speaking about her experiences, Inga said she does not know who her biological parents are though believes she was given up because of the taboo in Russian culture.

She said: “I have never met my birth parents. I know that because of the culture in Russia, I might have been sent to an asylum and the stigma would have been unbearable.

“It was better for me to be adopted. I use my legs to write and type. I use them to eat and I also cook a lot with my feet.”

Inga continued: “I have wonderful friends and a wonderful boyfriend who help me when I get in over my head. I have been given prosthetics and I was thankful for them, but they don’t really work for me. I have gotten along so well without them.”

Talking to Metro, she added: “Living without arms is all I’ve ever known. I do think I had to work a little harder though to get where I wanted to be.”

Inga, who is in a long-term relationship with boyfriend Joseph Macuga, said that one of her frustrations about living with a disability is messages she receives on social media.

She has been the target of sexualised comments and backhanded compliments when people say she is ‘pretty for someone who doesn’t have arms’.

Though the attorney-in-the-making is learning to overlook these unwanted opinions and is not only striving for a career in the legal world, but also in the modelling industry too to increase diversity and representation of different bodies in mainstream media.

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