An amputee’s zest for life has made her a TikTok star, Cheng Yuezhu reports.
On China’s short-video app TikTok, known locally as Douyin, a top popular category is young people dancing to trendy tunes, where filters create an appreciative atmosphere where heart signs float.
Dong Xuxi, 22, is among them. Like other protagonists of such videos, she is radiant with confidence, the only difference being that one of her legs is artificial. Dancing is not the only activity she engages in. In her videos, she sprints, works out in the gym, climbs mountains, practices boxing and goes skiing, gaining 437,000 followers and more than 12 million “likes” on the app.
In 2013, she was severely injured in a car accident and had her right leg amputated. Then, after three months of operations and treatment in hospital, she began the long and agonizing journey of adapting to the artificial limb and getting back to a normal life.
“I didn’t know how to walk properly for the first few years. At first, I still needed crutches even when wearing prosthesis, which scraped off my skin. It hurt a lot and I could only hobble along,” Dong says.
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The accident also crushed her self-confidence-she shut herself off from the world, fearing people would notice her deficiency.