A Woman Born With Dwarfism Was Labelled “Evil” and Abandoned by Her Parents; She Proved Them Wrong
Ellie Simmonds, a world-famous athlete, had a tough childhood growing up. Upon her birth, it was discovered that she had dwarfism, and her mother was informed she would have to endure people calling Ellie names because of her disability. Despite being abandoned by her birth mother, Ellie would grow up to prove everyone wrong and inspire numerous others.
Meet Ellie Simmonds, a Paralympics champion from Britain.
Born in Walsall in 1994, Ellie Simmonds was adopted by Steve and Val Simmonds and had no idea who her biological parents were. Interested in swimming at a very early age, Ellie was able to compete with able-bodied competitors despite her disability. The athlete was born with achondroplasia, the most common type of dwarfism.
When she was just 13, Ellie was the youngest member of the Paralympics team. At the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing, she ended up winning two gold medals. She won two more gold medals in London in 2012, setting a World Record for the 400m freestyle. Later, she received another gold medal at the Rio Paralympics 2016, achieving a world record for the 200m medley.
A documentary made about her discovered that she was actually abandoned at birth.
A documentary about the athlete’s life, disability and childhood called Ellie Simmonds: Finding My Secret Family explored the reality of Ellie’s childhood in great detail. An information sheet that Ellie’s mother had received said: “Children [with dwarfism] have to deal with being stared at and laughed at by other children. Indeed, there are those with normal height who equate short stature with evil and stupidity.”
Ellie also discovered that her mother had hoped she had passed away at birth when medics told her that Ellie would be seen as “evil” and “stupid” because of her disability. “Throughout my birth mum’s pregnancy, she felt something wasn’t right,” revealed Ellie. It only took two days after Ellie’s birth for her mother to put her up for adoption. “Two days is not a long time to decide a massive, monumental thing. Again, she was a single parent, wasn’t she? So you’ve got to try and place yourself in her shoes.”
Despite the shocking news, Ellie chose to forgive her mother.
In an emotional scene, Elli decides to meet with her birth mother. Although the meeting takes place off-screen to preserve her mother’s privacy, Ellie reveals that the experience was amazing and that she “felt like her face was just like me.” She also said she was not angry with her birth mother for putting her up for adoption, choosing to forgive her instead. “What touched my heart was that she thinks about me every day and always sees me as a daughter.”