Jessica Long: From being abandoned as a baby to becoming a famous athlete

The parents of Russian born Tatiana left her when she was just a baby. Little did they know she would grow up to be a world-renowned athlete.

20 years ago, a young baby by the name of Tatiana was born in Russia. Otherwise healthy, Tatiana suffered from a birth defect—she was born with no fibulas. Her parents, fearing they would be unable to care for the child, abandoned her. This is merely the beginning of her story.

Her biological mother said:

I feel so sorry. At that time, there was fear, I got scared. I had to leave her behind. But I did think that I would take her back.

After beingadopted by American parents, the young girl known then as Tatiana grew up to become quite the famous athlete. You may know her better by the name she took on following her adoption: Jessica Long. This multiple time gold medal winner is known around the world for her performance in the swimming pool.

Jessica said:

I was born with fibular hemimelia, so I didn't have fibulas, ankles, heels, and most of the other bones in my feet. I was adopted from Russian orphanage when I was 13 months old along with a little boy from the same orphanage. When I was 18 months old, the rest of my lower parts of my legs were amputated so that I could be fitted for prosthetic legs and learn how to walk.

Recently, her birth mother reached out to her to finally meet her grown biological child. The pictures tell a beautiful story.

This little girl has become famous thanks to her unique look This little girl has become famous thanks to her unique look