'Blackboard' Prosthetic Leg Becomes Star of 23-Year-Old's European Adventure

It's common to take loads of photos on vacations. But one woman documented her European trip a little differently than the traditional tourist and, unintentionally, inspired others.

"It probably looked very strange seeing an amputee drawing on her prosthetic," Devon Gallagher said.

The stares of strangers is something Gallagher is accustomed to. The 23-year-old says it's common for people to look at her prosthetic leg.

"I don't blame them though; it's something you don't see everyday," Gallagher said. 

The recent college graduate was born with a congenital bone disease called Pseudoarthrosis that created a "false joint" in her tibia bone. After multiple un-successful surgeries, at four-years-old her parents were given an ultimatum and decided to amputate her leg. 

"I've had a prosthetic for 19 years now," Gallagher said. "I get a new leg about every two years."

Gallagher has been spicing up her prosthetic for years. Throughout college, Gallagher had her alma mater, Lehigh University, printed on it. But for her new prosthetic leg following graduation, she decided to do something else.

"One day the idea of a chalkboard came to mind," Gallagher said. "Friends thought the idea was cool, so I went with it." 

As Gallagher adventured onto her post-graduation trip, the idea evolved into writing the name of the current city she was in on her prosthetic leg. 

"I just figured it would be a fun and unique way to document my travels."

For the entire month of June, Gallagher recorded her trip via camera and black-board-prosthetic while visiting Denmark, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Spain, France, Ireland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, Germany and Sweden.

The leg makes an appearance in the picture-perfect setting for each city. In Brussels, Gallagher happily holds her leg with a Belgian waffle. And in Dublin, Gallagher's prosthetic takes the stage with a local Irish band. 

As Gallagher's prosthetic served as a sign in 12 countries, the Philadelphia-native had no idea it would also serve as a metaphorical sign for others. Since posting the pictures from her European gallivants, she has gotten quite a few messages from others.

"They've been thanking me for giving them the courage to embrace their impairment and refuse to let it stop them from living their life," Gallagher said. "I didn't post the photos actively thinking about the inspiration they could potentially cause, but I am glad it's been a result of posting them."

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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