Jessica Cox is the world’s first armless licensed pilot and her incredible story is the subject of a documentary, Right Footed – so called because she drives with her feet.
As well as flying Cox, 32, has a black belt in two martial arts and is a motivational speaker. She was born without arms due to a rare birth defect and recently met Ruth Evelyn (nicknamed RE) Pranke, a three-year-old also born armless.
RE’s mother Karlyn found out she would not have arms in her 20th week of pregnancy and has wanted her daughter to meet Jessica ever since.
“It’s been very inspirational to me that she has come as far as she has to overcome her disability – and my daughter has always said, especially lately, ‘I want arms, I want arms,” Karlyn told ABC News. “I wanted her to see she doesn’t have to have arms. I wanted her to see all the things Jessica can do.”
The pair met at the premiere for Right Footed and took this picture to show you don’t need arms to hug.
“When I meet a child without arms, it feels like I’m giving back,” Cox said. “It’s that feeling of ‘Oh, I’m going to be OK. I’m going to be able do everything this woman did,’ is what I’m giving back to RE and other children. It’s saying ‘I’m going to be just fine.’”
As for RE? Her mother says she was inspired the encounter. “She’s been saying since we got home, ‘She’s just like me. She doesn’t have arms’.”