My Two Left Feet

8th June 2001 at 01:00
By Emily Elliott, 10, Ash CE primary school, Ash, Martock, Somerset

When I was born I had a left foot half the size of an ordinary foot. It had little tiny toes like miniature footballs. I had often wondered why I had two different sized feet but mum always replied "It is because I am so special."

Because of my different sized feet we had to buy two pairs of shoes.

My mum, who is called Jacinta, Cinta for short, found out by watching a television programme that it is possible to make a fake left foot the same size as my other, right foot. My small foot will sit inside it.

We went to Exeter, which is the nearest place they would do it. We also had to take someone who is the same shoe size as me. So we took my friend William Brenchley who is someone in my class. We needed his left toes to make a mould.

William and I were doing a jigsaw puzzle in the waiting room in Exeter when finally Steve, the expert for false limbs, called us in.

William, Mum and I went into a little room along with Steve. Steve was talking for ages, describing what would happen. We had to have a mould taken, and decide on the best colour to match my skin.

William had a mould taken of his left foot first. What Steve did was mix a few drops of some yellow hardener stuff into the silicon. After that Steve poured the silicon into a bowl. The bowl looked like a big silver dog's bowl. William put his foot in the bowl, which had a cup of silicon in it and another cup of silicon was poured over his foot, completely covering it. William said it was like putting his foot in a bath filled with cold custard.

Then it was my turn. I was excited and frightened at he same time. It was very relaxing when the silicon was drying, which only took a few minutes. Steve explained to me that it ould take three to four weeks to make my new foot then I would have it fitted. As Steve was getting my foot out of the dried silicon my foot got stuck! Steve had forgotten to rub the baby oil on to my foot. After a tiring few minutes of trying to get my foot out Aah! my foot had wriggled free. It was a miracle. William, Mum and I said goodbye and thank you and we left and had a McDonald's.

We were on our way home and William started to feel travel sick. BLLGGHH William was sick out of the window and there went his Happy Meal.

My rubber foot, a combination of William's toes and my heels, fitted perfectly. It took a bit of getting used to and the first thing we bought was a pair of daps - the left and right the same size like everyone else in my class. Mum watching the programme changed my life FOREVER!

Now I am ten and I still have a rubber foot and I am fitted with a new one every six months. I will have to have an operation when my feet stop growing when I am fourteen, but I will have two left feet for ever.

Emily can do anything with her special left foot and particularly enjoys sports, writes Heather Neill. "I play rounders and netball, football and rugby. When I do swimming I take my foot off and dry it." William is still one of her best friends. Her teacher, Adam Hawkins, who is also the school head, has used the booklets since the competition started. This year he read his class the stories in the booklet and the Primary magazine. "Working with Write Away is a particularly enjoyable part of the term. I suggest they think about something quite small which is nevertheless very important to them, although in Emily's case it was a major event." Ash school produced a finalist two years ago and another this year, Catherine Chapman, as well as Emily.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today