About sharing An amputee who dresses her stump up to resemble celebrities says it helps her "own" her disability.
In the summer ofcomedian and performance poet Jackie Hagan was writing a one-woman comedy show about how she didn't feel like a grown-up, when a series of blood clots and infections jn to a lengthy hospital stay and the amputation of her right leg. She first had her foot removed, then a higher leg amputation was needed.
Maggots were put on to her stump to eat away any lasting infection, and all the time she faced further clots and perhaps death. She said these life-changing, unpleasant events helped her to gain perspective - and finally grow up.
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The comedy piece Hagan was writing changed course as she underwent surgery, and endured a lengthy stay in hospital. What emerged was a show about Hagan's journey from the initial embarrassment she felt about her new prosthetic leg, to accepting it, putting glitter on it and, she says, "genuinely loving it". In her chatty Liverpool accent she told Ouch's talk show that her residual limb, or stump, "healed really weird" and had a scar that looks a bit like the "miserable gob" of the character Tracey from Birds of a Feather.
But now, 18 months later, she takes photos of the residual limb dressed up to look like celebrities and asks followers on social media to guess who they are. Among many different guises, her stump has sported glasses and a lightning bolt scar to look like Harry Potter.
It has sported the blonde hair and trademark mole of Marilyn Monroe. She has also grown a moustache on it to resemble the singer in a TV insurance advert.
In her 20s, Hagan spent time in a psychiatric ward with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and has a of other difficulties like dyslexia and an eye disease called Fuchs' dystrophy. Now, at the prosthetist where she gets her leg adjusted, she feels she has to act "fabulous" so as not to fall in with everybody else, who she says are all "grey scale and falling apart".
She dresses up in fancy clothes for appointments and says she hates conversations in the waiting room which start: "How high up is your amputation?