This legless doctor stands taller than the rest

Posted June 5

A woman with no legs goes to medical school and becomes a doctor for the people in her village. (Deseret Photo)

Do you ever look at your life and question why it’s so tough?

I do. But then I read stories like Li Juhong’s and realize there are many things I take for granted, like my legs.

Often I tell myself I can’t do something because of my challenges. But I have learned that whether or not I can do something is mostly determined by what I believe. Li’s story is a perfect example of this.

Li Juhong had her legs amputated at just four years old because of a severe car accident. But though she has a disability, she proves ability is what you make of it. Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right.

For the past 15 years, Li has made her living as a village doctor in China, becoming the personal caretaker of the 1,000 residents who live there. Li gets from place to place using stools and has worn out nearly 30 stools in her service to the village. When not using the stools, her husband carries her on his back.

Li’s determination came at a young age when she decided she was going to walk despite losing her legs. She began practicing using small stools as legs. Although it took many attempts, by the age of eight, Li had accomplished her goal.

As she grew, Li attended school to become a doctor because she wanted to rescue people, much like she needed rescuing. Because of her accident, she gained a desire to save. Rather than shrink because of the tragedy, she rose above it, allowing her determination and the wooden stools to carry her forward.

"Compared with most others,” Li said, “I've come against more difficulties. But, I always whisper to myself that 'God helps those who help themselves' in order to inspire me to keep moving forward."

Li continues to move forward, serving those who need her most. There have been more than 6,000 documented house calls Li has made in her 15 years of service.

Because of her positive attitude and her desire to serve others, Li has inspired many, including her 12-year-old son who looks up to his mom and wants to become a doctor too one day.

Through her example, she has taught not only her son but also all those who read her story that you can do anything you set your mind to. There are no limitations to what we are capable of accomplishing when we forget our own challenges and focus on the needs of others.

Li’s experiences have taken her to a place of service and love for all in her village. Through her disability, she has gained the ability to do much for others. From caring for the people in her remote village to inspiring the world, she proves that one person, regardless of circumstances, can make an incredible difference.

Tiffany Fletcher, author of "Mother Had a Secret: Learning to Love my Mother and her Multiple Personalities"


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