A Cambridge University educated research scientist is so desperate to live the life of a wheelchair-bound person she is prepared to pay a doctor help her become disabled.
She wears leg braces and uses a wheelchair, even though her legs are healthy. Chloe spends most of her time in a wheelchair, but has to get out for various household tasks and walk down the steps to her car.
Since childhood, Chloe Jennings-White has made several attempts at injuring herself so she can finally climb into her own wheelchair.In 2010 she even found a doctor overseas willing to help her become disabled by cutting her sciatic and femoral nerves, but she could not afford the �16,000 costs.
‘I might never be able to afford it, but I know, truly and deeply, I won’t regret it if I ever can,’ she said
Chloe, 58, from Salt Lake City, Utah, suffers from a rare condition called Body Integrity Identity Disorder, or BIID. Sufferers do not accept one of their own limb or limbs and seek to amputate them or become paraplegic
Some experts believe it is caused by a neurological fault, in which the brain’s mapping system cannot see a certain body part.The Cambridge graduate believes both of her legs do not belong to her and dreams of being paralysed from the waist down.
‘Something in my brain tells me my legs are not supposed to work,’ she said. ‘Having any sensation in them just feels wrong.’
For years she bandaged herself secretly, but now lives openly with her condition despite facing intolerance, insults, and sometimes online threats.
Chloe first realised she was different at the age of four, after visiting her Aunt Olive, who was using leg braces after a bike accident.
‘I wanted them too,’ she said. ‘I wondered why I wasn’t born needing them and felt something was wrong with me because I didn’t have them.’
At the age of nine, Chloe even took action and pedalled her bike off a four-foot high acting stage on Hampstead Heath, north London, landing on her neck.
‘I only wanted to stop my legs working but could have broken my neck or died,’ she added.
From then on, Chloe lived out her fantasy in secret, pretending to be disabled when alone, playing risky sports and climbing trees in the hope of hurting her legs.
Now, as an adult, Chloe enjoys the excitement of downhill skiing and the possibility she might fall and suffer serious leg fractures.
I ski extremely fast, and aim for the most dangerous runs .’Doing any activity that brings a chance of me becoming paraplegic gives me a sense of relief from the anxiety caused by the BIID.’My friends and family can get a little worried about me skiing, as they know I ski very aggressively and they know that in the back of my mind I actually want to get paralysed.’ I can’t afford to convert my home for disabled access so I just use the chair as much as I can,’ she said.
She fantasises about having a car crash without hurting anyone else just so she can damage her own legs.
‘Any time when I’m driving I sort of conjure up accident scenarios in my mind where I will become paraplegic,’ she admitted.
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