Segments in this Video

A Person Like Everyone Else (02:36)


Barry de Geest wants people to understand he is a human being. Because his mother took Thalidomide for morning sickness, he was born with no arms and short legs. De Geest falls getting out of bed, and laughs about it.

Morning Routine (02:14)

De Geest used to be independent; he now relies on caregivers. His mother only took two Thalidomide pills. Anna Kapohe remembers the how doctors and nurses reacted after his birth.

Poor Prognosis (01:59)

Kapohe was not allowed to see de Geest for three days after his birth. She visited him every day for nine months— one day, she picked him up and walked out of the hospital. His school friends treated him like everyone else.

Finding Independence (03:30)

De Geest moved to Auckland where he lives with his son, Joe. Adaptive gear allows him to drive a car. He created the Renaissance Group with Carmel Henry; they help disabled individuals live independently.

Fiftieth Birthday Party (03:09)

Joe helps de Geest dress. After receiving a settlement from the drug company, de Geest decides to pursue his dream of creating a custom motor home with adaptive gear so he may travel.

Coming to Terms with Disability (02:44)

De Geest has difficulty becoming dependent on others. His tattoos reflect that he feels misunderstood. His most difficult times are when people treat him as if he is from another planet.

Losing Independence (02:10)

De Geest uses his shoulders and mouth to act as arms, but his joints are starting to stiffen and his teeth are decaying. When he gets depressed, he reminds himself that if he dies, he may miss something amazing.

Falling in Love (03:31)

Originally, neither de Geest nor Bronwyn wanted a relationship, but now they are happy. Their relationship is successful is because both insist on open and honest communication.

Custom Made Wheelchairs (02:37)

At the Auckland Health and Disability Expo, Bronwyn and de Geest sell a riser chair so people with non-working arms can reach taller objects. The custom motor home is completed and they embark on a trip.

Traveling (02:17)

Bronwyn and de Geest make a stop. He takes the dog for a walk while she sets up the adapted bus. They enjoy the sunset.

Credits: Beyond Thalidomide— Against the Odds (00:42)

Credits: Beyond Thalidomide— Against the Odds

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Beyond Thalidomide—Against the Odds: Inspiring Stories of Disability

Part of the Series : Against the Odds: Inspiring Stories of Disability
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $129.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $194.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $129.95



Barry de Geest's mother was told that he would not live more than three days. Born without arms and possessing short legs, he celebrates his fiftieth birthday and lives life to the fullest in this episode of Against the Odds

Length: 29 minutes

Item#: BVL115780

ISBN: 978-1-63521-131-3

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

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Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.