Woman Born Without Arms Sews PPE For Frontline Workers With Her Feet—What’s Your Excuse?

Norfarrah Syahirah Shaari was born without arms, but the Malaysian woman is still able to find a way to do her part during the coronavirus pandemic.

Shaari, 32, has always used her feet to perform daily tasks, so when she volunteered to make protective gear for medical staff through a corporate social responsibility program with Teluk Intan Community College (KKTI), she began sewing hospital gowns with her feet.

Via Facebook/Norfarrah Syahirah Shaari

She said that her status as a person with disabilities was not an excuse to be dependent on others: “Many people have been asking to see how I use a sewing machine, so I’ll show you my own method when sewing with my feet.”

Ramai yang nak tengokkan macam mana saya menjahit guna kaki.. Ok saya tunjuk skill saya menjahit guna kaki je dengan cara saya sendiri.. Semangat nak menjahit baju PPE Frontliner nie.. Nie je yang mampu saya dan team staf kolej komuniti Teluk Intan serta beberapa sukarelawan tukang jahit sekitar Teluk intan yg semangat nak membantu.. Semoga urusan kami dipermudahkan.. Amin#Darikomunitiuntukkomuniti#covid19#stayathome

Posted by Norfarrah Syahirah Shaari on Saturday, April 11, 2020

“I’m feeling really motivated to sew PPE clothing for our frontliners,” she wrote. In her post, Shaari also expressed gratitude for the opportunity to support frontline workers who are risking their own safety to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The video brought joy and inspiration to many social media users who thank her in the comments.

“You are amazing. Always an inspiration to all of us. You are truly a special person.”

Facebook/ Norfarrah Syahirah Shaari

“I hope you stay motivated to sew! I feel so proud looking at your work.”

Facebook/ Norfarrah Syahirah Shaari

“Those who get to wear your clothes are truly blessed.”

Facebook/ Norfarrah Syahirah Shaari

The program at KKTi has 35 volunteers working to make PPE for hospital staff at Teluk Intan Community Clinic and Teluk Intan Hospital. Each volunteer has a unique role: some design the gown patterns, some measure, some cut, and others sew.

Shaari said she’s always made clothes for herself and has known how to sew with her feet since she was young.

“I have learned to adapt to the demands of everyday life using my feet. I learned tailoring by myself eight years ago because I needed to make special clothes for myself,” she said, as quoted by New Straits Times.

Via Facebook/ Norfarrah Syahirah Shaari

“Now it takes me only a second to thread the needle using my feet,” she said.

Shaari shared that she can sew eight PPE gowns in a day. “We expect to make 252 isolation gowns using 400 meters of fabric,” Shaari says.

Via Facebook/ Norfarrah Syahirah Shaari

To avoid spreading the virus among the volunteer crew, they’ve divided the supplies so many can work from home or in their offices.

“I feel proud to be part of this program and this is the little thing we can do to help our healthcare workers.”

Last July Shaari posted a video of herself driving that went viral on social media. She’d gotten her drivers’ license seven years ago to prove the differently-abled are independent and self-sufficient.

Shaari says that God would not burden a soul beyond what it can bear. She hopes that her social media posts inspire others to pitch in with the skills they already have. Everybody has something to contribute.

Susan LaMarca

Written by Susan LaMarca